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Grand Prairie Project caps 20 years' research.

A venture between Garver Engineers and FTN Associates used each firm's expertise to model the behavior of a proposed irrigation system, in the Grand Prairie Area Demonstration Project, for the Memphis District Corps. of Engineers.

According to Garver, the model required that a working control system be designed and integrated with an unsteady flow hydraulic model. The firms brought different expertise to the table: FTN's knowledge of hydraulic modeling and Garver's experience in control system engineering.

The result the Grand Prairie System Model, completed in 2000, which is believed to be the first use of a comprehensive, integrated computer model to design a major irrigation project.

The model, called a "fundamental advance in design practice for irrigation systems," serves as the basis of design for every part of the Grand Prairie system. What's more, the results are being used as the basis for future projects.

The computer model draws on more than 20 years of international research in hydraulics, control systems and irrigation system design to demonstrate how water flows and levels respond to realistic operation and control scenarios.

Using the computer model, engineers were able to detect water waste and inefficiency in irrigation system designs as well as test new methods and design criteria to combat those problems. Engineers also were able to tweak systems to combat inflexibility in the overall system while improving hydraulic capacity.

Engineers have designed the Grand Prairie system using the lessons learned from the computer program. By developing this computer model, Garver and FTN are supporting the state's rice industry, which produces 45 percent of the rice grown in the United States. Without the Grand Prairie Area Demonstration Project, officials estimate that rice production in Arkansas will shrink by 23 percent.

Garver and-FTN worked with Nelens & Shuurmans of Bilthoven, Netherlands, on adapting new software for the project.


CATEGORY: Studies, Research and Consulting Engineering Services

PROJECT: Grand Prairie System Model

ENGINEER: Garver Engineers


CITY: Little Rock

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Title Annotation:venture between FTN Associates and Garver Engineers
Comment:Grand Prairie Project caps 20 years' research.(venture between FTN Associates and Garver Engineers)
Publication:Arkansas Business
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 3, 2003
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