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Groundwater level trend and water quality in Po valley paddy fields

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

Citation:  Paper number  022218,  2002 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.9328) @2002
Authors:   Mauro Greppi
Keywords:   Paddy fields, water-table fluctuation, hydraulic conductivity, water quality, pollution risk

The well-constructed canal system that runs through the vast plain on the left bank of the river Po, which is confined to the West by the river Dora Baltea, North by the moraine hills and East by the river Ticino, has allowed the development of rice cultivation, requiring a large supply of water derived from the surrounding natural streams and then its distribution uniformly throughout the territory. This habitat represents an interesting example of human enterprise that has transformed in time an watery and unhealthy territory into an highly productive agricultural area. The management of water is however a determining element for the maintenance and the development of this region.

It is well known that water is a primary vector for the transport of substances in the environment. The irrigation waters and the rain infiltrated into the ground seep through the soil agricultural chemicals into the aquifer. The movement of herbicides used in growing rice into the groundwater was monitored to determine their fate.

The local rate of rise of the groundwater-table, when paddy fields are flooded, is used to define a local medium soil conductivity in the vertical direction and then a local pollution risk.

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