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Drainage of Irrigated Lands

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  9th International Drainage Symposium held jointly with CIGR and CSBE/SCGAB Proceedings, 13-16 June 2010  IDS-CSBE-100037.(doi:10.13031/2013.32107)
Authors:   C B Dandekar, B A Chougule
Keywords:   Productive land, Faulty Irrigation, Water logging, Salinization, Subsurface Drainage (SSD), Reclamation

Salinity affects millions of hectares of once productive land in many countries. Besides economic losses, rapid salinization of land and water resources is inflicting environmental damage, particularly in irrigated areas where salinity increase has charted a parallel path with irrigation development. However, irrigated land use as such is not responsible for salinization, but it is the faulty irrigation practices, inadequate provision of drainage and lopsided economic incentives that play a major role. Different measures including surface, subsurface and bio-drainage systems have been adopted to prevent/mitigate and reclaim the affected areas. Large scale adoption of mechanized subsurface drainage (SSD) systems is at its inception stage. Experiences from large scale SSD installations in the northern states of Haryana, Rajasthan and Maharashtra have evidenced that the technology can be successfully adopted in reclaiming saline and waterlogged lands while surface drainage and bio-drainage have limitations and do not show improvement in soil and crop productivity. Two large scale SSD projects were installed on 2165 ha at Dudhgaon and Kasabe Digraj in Sangli district of Maharashtra (India) in the year 2005 to 2008. There is good improvement in the soil properties of affected lands within one year due to SSD installation in the fields. The pH decreased from 8.11 to 7.63, the soil conductivity EC from 8.11 to 4.60 dS/m, SAR from 7.10 to 3.94 and ESP from 9.31 to 4.60; which shows improvement in salt affected soils. Yield of sugarcane increased from 75 T/ha to 172 T/ha within a period of one year.

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