All our fresh water contains salts, even in your bottle of drinking water. This irrigation (except rainfed) builds up salt-levels in the soil. Like in your own body you have to leach out the salts from the soil to keep the soil salinity under control. In around 20% of the irrigated areas in the World the natural drainage is not sufficient to control the soil salinity levels and artificial drainage, either by open or pipe (tile) drains is needed. And, although the total area under irrigation continues to grow, we are investing very little in drainage systems to sustain these investments in irrigation. Salinity build-up is a slow process and consequently “Irrigation is the need for today, salinization is a problem of tomorrow” is a voice that echoes across farmers, engineers and government departments alike. What further complicated the problems is that drainage is a jointed activity in which farmers have to work together.
In this presentation, Dr. Henk Ritzema discusses the role of drainage to reduce problems associated with waterlogging and salinity in irrigated agriculture. He points examples and solutions from around the world and the challenges that we face to reverse the negative trend in salt build-up and waterlogging.
More info: www.wageningenur.nl
Produced by: TheWaterChannel