Performance assessment of the Gash Delta Spate Irrigation System, Sudan
Abstract. The Gash Delta Spate Irrigation System (GDSIS), located in eastern Sudan with a net command area of 100 000 ha (an area currently equipped with irrigation structures), was established in 1924. The land is irrigated every 3 years (3-year rotation) or every 2 years (2-year rotation) so that about 33 000 or 50 000 ha respectively can be cultivated annually. This study deals with assessing the performance of the 3- and 2-year rotation systems using the Monte Carlo simulation. Reliability, which is a measure of how frequently the irrigation water supply satisfies the demand, and vulnerability, which is a measure of the magnitude of failure, were selected as the performance criteria. Combinations of five levels of intake ratio and five levels of irrigation efficiency for the irrigation water supply of each rotation system were analysed. Historical annual flow data of the Gash River for 107 years were fit to several frequency distributions. The Weibull distribution was the best on the basis of the Akaike information criteria and was used for simulating the ensembles of annual river flow. The reliabilities and vulnerabilities of both rotation systems were evaluated at typical values of intake ratio and irrigation efficiency. The results show that (i) the 3-year rotation is more reliable in water supply than the 2-year rotation, (ii) the vulnerability of the 3-year rotation is lower than that of the 2-year rotation and (iii) therefore the 3-year rotation is preferable in the GDSIS. The sensitivities of reliability and vulnerability to changes in intake ratio and irrigation efficiency were also examined.