Flood control for sugar cane plantation

A large-scale sugar cane plantation has recently acquired around 7,000 hectares of neighbouring land which it intends to develop as an additional sugar cane plantation in order to increase production. These lands are situated in lowlands next to the Komering River and are currently flooded to a large extent on a regular basis. This is very harmful for sugar cane, which cannot withstand a flood for more than a couple of days. In order to grow sugar cane, these lands must be protected against floods.

Witteveen+Bos carried out several site visits to the area to collect data. A hydraulic and hydrologic model of the river and the catchment was created based on topography data, land use and measured cross sections. A simulation of different wet season scenarios resulted in informative 2D flood maps of the area, from which it could be concluded that the area is very vulnerable to flooding due to its low elevations and proximity to a large river.

Several development scenarios were assessed, with different areas to be protected, ring dikes, edge drains and pumping stations. A total of five scenarios were examined and simulated. The results showed that with different combinations of measures a large area could be protected. The implementation costs were estimated and expressed per hectare in order to provide the client with an idea of the project’s financial feasibility.

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