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10th International Rainwater Catchment Systems Conference
"Rainwater International 2001"
Mannheim, Germany - September 2001

Section 4: Rainwater Catchment in Agriculture

Paper 4.24

Plastic-lined Canal for Environment Protection: Multi-Use Canal

Luciano Cordoval de Barros
Embrapa Milho e Sorgo, Sete Lagoas
Minas Gerais

Over 20 percent of the Brazilian territory is an extensive region called Central Brazil, with approximately 2,000,000 km2 (the "cerrados" area). The soils are predominantly porous with intake rates above 50 mm/h. It is necessary to line canals impermeable in order to use them to: a) conduct water for irrigation, animal and domestic consumption, and fishery; b) conduct wastewater from farm animal operations and from urban and industrial treatment facilities. The project was constructed in the Calciolandia farm, Arcos county, State of Minas Gerais, Brazil. The canal has a length of 2.5 km, width of 5 m, depth of 0.8m. Lining is made with common plastic sheets 200 microns thick, 6, 8, 10 or 12 m width, 100 m long, easily available in the market. This type of lining has shown a lot of advantages compared to other special lining sheets since it is cheap and easy to construct. Besides, it requires no more than a wheel-loader machine to do the field work. It is important to mention that the plastic sheets need to be covered by a 20 to 25 cm thick layer of soil in order to fix them in place and to protect against sun radiation and animal traffic. The slopes of the canal should be gentle, not exceeding a 30 percent grade. A good balance between slopes and depth determine the width of the canal. The grade of length must be gentle, a maximum of 1.0 m/km.

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