Skip to content

Geosynthetics in irrigation canals in swelling soils of Gujarat, India: A case study

Because of several projects implemented in recent years as developmental activities, soil of good quality has been consumed on large scale. Irrigation canals need selective soils which are not availa-ble at present in many areas. If such soils are transported form long distance, the project becomes eco-nomically unviable. In such a situation, the soil of whatever type is available has to be used with due knowledge of issues related with and the solution as well. When heavy clay is the only option to be used for construction of irrigation canal, it swells or expands while in contact of water and shrinks while it dries. In such cases, as lining in the canal can not be impervious, the soil behind it is subjected to cyclical swelling and shrinkage. The result is failure of lining, pipings in the embankment, heavy leakages and even some time undulations in bottom such that the water can not flow at all. The paper discusses the is-sues of canals constructed with heavy soils, detailed diagnosis of the problems and specific solutions worked out using geosyntheics by referencing a few canals specifically. It is also shown that role of geo-synthetics is not limited to be a membrane between water and soil, but it can also behave as a structural element in some situation. The objective is to underline the importance of geosynthetics in a time when selective types of soils are unavailable and yet the projects can not be delayed.