Multivariate time series modeling of short-term system scale irrigation demand
Perera, Kushan C.
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Travel time limits the ability of irrigation system operators to react to short-term irrigation demand fluctuations that result from variations in weather, including very hot periods and rainfall events, as well as the various other pressures and opportunities that farmers face. Short-term system-wide irrigation demand forecasts can assist in system operation. Here we developed a multivariate time series (ARMAX) model to forecast irrigation demands with respect to aggregated service points flows (IDCGi, ASP) and off take regulator flows (IDCGi, OTR) based across 5 command areas, which included area covered under four irrigation channels and the study area. These command area specific ARMAX models forecast 1–5 days ahead daily IDCGi, ASP and IDCGi, OTR using the real time flow data recorded at the service points and the uppermost regulators and observed meteorological data collected from automatic weather stations. The model efficiency and the predictive performance were quantified using the root mean squared error (RMSE), Nash–Sutcliffe model efficiency coefficient (NSE), anomaly correlation coefficient (ACC) and mean square skill score (MSSS). During the evaluation period, NSE for IDCGi, ASP and IDCGi, OTR across 5 command areas were ranged 0.98–0.78. These models were capable of generating skillful forecasts (MSSS ⩾ 0.5 and ACC ⩾ 0.6) of IDCGi, ASP and IDCGi, OTR for all 5 lead days and IDCGi, ASP and IDCGi, OTR forecasts were better than using the long term monthly mean irrigation demand. Overall these predictive performance from the ARMAX time series models were higher than almost all the previous studies we are aware. Further, IDCGi, ASP and IDCGi, OTR forecasts have improved the operators’ ability to react for near future irrigation demand fluctuations as the developed ARMAX time series models were self-adaptive to reflect the short-term changes in the irrigation demand with respect to various pressures and opportunities that farmers’ face, such as changing water policy, continued development of water markets, drought and changing technology.