Rivers and wetlands in Myanmar provide essential services to people in terms of transportation, agriculture, fisheries and a myriad of other ecosystem services, all of which are dependent on a healthy ecosystem. Irrigation channels are also an important part of the infrastructure for daily water use in Myanmar. The objective of this research is to describe the aquatic ecosystem of irrigation channels using aquatic macroinvertebrate communities. The research focused on the taxonomic composition of the aquatic macroinvertebrates of the Zawgyi River and the associated irrigation channels in central Myanmar, east of the city of Mandalay. Significant differences between the river and channels, and among individual channels, were shown using an analysis of similarity: Bray-Curtis similarity, a multivariate equivalent of the univariate statistical method of analysis of variance: ANOSIM and an analysis of similarity percentages: SIMPER by Plymouth Routines in Multivariate Ecological Research: PRIMER v6 software. The initial findings suggest that there is a clear separation between macroinvertebrate communities at the morpho-species level of identification between river and irrigation channels, while there is less separation between functional feeding groups (FFG) between them. The lower taxonomic level of discrimination at the family level using a water quality index showed no significant difference between river and channels. The preliminary field results indicate that a recently modified biomonitoring index method could be applied in Myanmar to assess the ecological water quality of the modified river, as well as human-made channels.