Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

    We have a manual that explains all the features 

Record number 504618
Title Drain for Gain : Managing salinity in irrigated lands-A review
Author(s) Ritzema, H.P.
Source Agricultural Water Management 176 (2016). - ISSN 0378-3774 - p. 18 - 28.
Department(s) Water Resources Management
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2016
Keyword(s) Agricultural water management - Drainage - Waterlogging

At present, about 299 Mha (or 18%) of the arable and permanent cropped areas worldwide are irrigated and, although drainage is an important component of irrigation, only 22% of these irrigated lands are drained. As a consequence, salinity and waterlogging problems affect about 10-16% of these areas because the natural drainage is not sufficient for controlling soil salinity levels. Additional, artificial drainage is needed to address this problem. Although the total area under irrigation continues to grow, very little is being invested in drainage systems to sustain the investments in irrigation. This is due in part to drainage being at the end of the pipeline where it has to clean up the "mess" that other activities leave behind: i.e. salts brought in by irrigation water, residues of fertilisers and pesticides etc. However, to move towards more reasonable sustainability, drainage has to be given its appropriate role in agricultural water management. In this paper seven reasons why drainage is needed are discussed, followed by seven aspects of why drainage is different than irrigation, and seven challenges to making drainage work. The paper concludes with a three-step approach reversing the negative trends in drainage management that result in salinity build-up in irrigated lands.

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