Seepage Detection and Characterization in a Truckee Canal Site using L-band Synthetic-Aperture Radar (SAR) Technology

Reclamation alone holds tens of thousands of miles of in-service water conveyance canals within its infrastructure inventory. Many of these canal systems have aged beyond their original intended life-span, are showing signs of aging and disrepair, extensive seepage and embankment failure events are becoming increasingly common, and consequences of canal failures within urban corridors are constantly increasing due to urban encroachment on these water conveyance structures. In addition to the problem of increased risk related to canal embankment failures, concentrated and distributed seepage poses a major challenge to water conservation due to significant water conveyance system losses. An ongoing need to identify and comprehensively characterize and quantify canal seepage, both for safety related and water conservation efforts, is the main motivation for this proposed research. Existing capabilities of Reclamation team members include field and lab data collection and analysis expertise, modeling expertise, required background/supportive data and information knowledge and access, and site-specific knowledge and access permissions. Non-Reclamation team members will bring SAR data analysis expertise, and hydrologic modeling expertise, and access to critical and supportive data and prior/ongoing research results. This is cutting-edge seepage-related research that makes use of interdisciplinary collaborative research coordination with top scientists within each participating field.