Webinar #8: Drain for Gain: Managing Salinity over Irrigated Lands

Date and time:October 09, 2013 
Speaker:Dr. Henk Ritzema, Wageningen University, The Netherlands
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All our fresh water contains salts, even in your bottle of drinking water. Thus 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 webinar, Dr. Ritzema will discuss the role of drainage to reduce problems associated with waterlogging and salinity in irrigated agriculture. He will discuss examples and solutions from around the world and the challenges that we face to reverse the negative trend in salt build-up and waterlogging.
About the speaker:Dr. Henk Ritzema is an Assistant Professor at Wageningen University, The Netherlands, where he is with the Water Resources Management Group. Henk has over thirty years of experience in teaching/ rersearching water management and hydrology for food and ecosystems management. His work has been based in North Africa, West Asia, South Asia and Southeast Asia. Full Profile >>
Related Resources
 Water Resources Management Group,
Wageningen University
Is the world getting saltier?  
January 10, 2014  
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