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Testing of a full-scale floating wave barrier for reducing wave erosion in a working irrigation reservoir
Proceedings of the 2022 Mississippi Water Resources Conference

Year: 2022 Authors: Rossell W., Ozeren Y., Wren D.

In order to reduce the demand on groundwater resources, on-farm irrigation reservoirs are used for storing irrigation water in the Mississippi Delta region. The embankments surrounding these reservoirs are routinely damaged by wind-generated waves, resulting in high maintenance costs over time. It is thus necessary to identify cost-effective methods to protect the inner slopes of the embankments from wave action. Floating wave barriers (breakwaters) have been shown to reduce wave impact on offshore and coastal structures, and by identifying a simple, cost-effective design that maintains good efficacy, the use of a floating breakwater should reduce the frequency of required maintenance associated with the use of irrigation reservoirs. In this study, the use of floating pipe breakwater for reducing wave energy was investigated. Specifically, an efficient design for the cable system that holds the floating barriers in place was needed. The proposed breakwater uses common HDPE irrigation piping moored to the reservoir bottom by steel cables. A model floating breakwater was constructed and tested for various mooring configurations and a variety of wave characteristics in a wave tank at the USDA-ARS National Sedimentation Laboratory. Results of these experiments will be discussed in this presentation, as well as details of a full-scale floating pipe breakwater for deployment in a working irrigation reservoir.

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