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Catchment Yield

Catchment Yield

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Published by Bernard Palmer
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Published by: Bernard Palmer on Jun 25, 2014
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SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION MANUAL FOR ERITREA
 Amanuel Negassi Estifanos Bein Kifle Ghebru Bo Tengnäs
 
HTTP://WWW.WORLDAGROFORESTRY.ORG/UNITS/LIBRARY/BOOKS/BOOK%20100/SOIL%20AND%20WATER%20CONSERVATION%20MANUAL%20FOR%20ERITREA/ERITHREA/HTML/INDEX.HTM?N=0 CHAPTER 8 CONSTRUCTION AND DESIGN OF SMALL DAMS 8.5 Estimating Catchment Yield
The amount of run-off that can be expected to come from the catchment to the dam (the catchment yield) should be estimated in order to determine the embankment height and reservoir capacity. In most parts of the country there are no climatic data available to determine the annual run-off of a specific area. However, a rainfall distribution map (Map 3) can give a rough estimate and can be used for estimating the annual run-off from a certain catchment. The following guidelines can be used to estimate annual run-off from a small catchment:
 
Roughly locate the dam site on Map 3 and read the annual rainfall, R.
 
Determine the run-off coefficient, C. This indicates the run-off as a percentage of the annual rainfall. Areas covered with dense forest have a low C value, while at the other extreme rocky areas with poor infiltration have a high value. The C-value depends not only on the vegetation cover and topography of the area but also on the soil. A soil that is easily drained has a lower C-value than a more impermeable soil. Different approximate values for C are given in Table 8.1. Usually the C value in Eritrea is between 10% and 20%. The steeper the slopes are in the catchment area, the higher the value of the coefficient.
 
Determine the size of the catchment area, A, that contributes flow to the proposed dam site.
 
Finally, calculate the annual yield, Y, of the catchment using the following formula: Y = C x R x A where Y = the annual water yield of the catchment area C = the run-off coefficient R = the annual rainfall  A = area of the catchment.
 
To avoid confusion, express R in metres (m) and A in square metres (m
2
). The result, Y, will then be expressed in cubic metres (m
3
).
Example of catchment-yield calculation
 
 
 A catchment area is bare of vegetation and moderately sloping
 
The run-off coefficient was estimated to be 15%
 
Catchment area (A) = 3.5 km
2
 = 3,500,000 m
2
 
 
 Annual rainfall (R) = 450 mm = 0.45 m
 
Run-off coefficient (C) = 15% = 0.15
 
Therefore, annual yield: Y = C x R x A=0.15x 3,500,000 x 0.45 = 236,250 m
3
 Refer to Appendix 7 for additional examples and more precise methods of calculating both run-off rate and volume of annual runoff.
Appendix 7 Estimation of catchment run-off
In natural catchments, any rainfall is either intercepted by vegetation, infiltrates into the soil, starts moving over the surface as run-off or is lost through evaporation. In order to design appropriate conservation structures such as diversion ditches or waterways it is important to be able to make an estimate of run-off. For a rainfall episode of given duration and intensity, the proportion which becomes run-off depends mainly on the cover of vegetation or crop residues, the soil infiltration rate, water content and storage capacity, and the slope of the land. For some purposes it is necessary to know the peak rate of run-off in cubic metres per second, and for others it is necessary to know the volume of run-off in cubic metres. For example, if a diversion ditch or waterway has to be designed, the critical factor is the rate of run-off, whereas if a retention ditch has to be designed, the expected volume of run-off should be estimated so that the ditch can be made large enough. Run-off rate and run-off volume are estimated in quite different ways, as explained below. There are two simple methods used for estimating run-off rate, known as the rational formula and Cook's method. They are both useful, and as they will not give exactly the same result they can both be used and the results compared to check on the reliability of the estimate.
 
 
1. Rational formula for estimating run-off rate
 The rational formula is expressed as follows: q = CiA/360 Where: q = run-off rate (m
3
/s) C = run-off coefficient (between 0 and 1) i = rainfall intensity (mm/h)  A = area of catchment (ha) The following points should be noted.
Run-off coefficient
 This is the proportion of total rainfall that is expected to become run-off during the design storm (see below). The assumption is made that the ground is already soaked and therefore the rate of infiltration is determined by the permeability of the soil, the surface roughness (whether there are furrows or depressions which can hold rain in situ) and the ground cover, if any, which may impede the flow of water and increase the time for infiltration. For deep soils with naturally high infiltration rates the run-off coefficient might be 0.25 or less. By contrast, heavy black soils would have a low infiltration rate and the run-off coefficient might be 0.5 or more. A dense cover of fodder grass on a deep red soil may have zero runoff, whereas denuded grazing land may have a run-off coefficient of 0.75 or more. A tarmac road or parking area will have a run-off coefficient of just under 1.0. Typical values for runoff coefficient are given in Table A7.1.

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