Drain Maintenance in the Imperial Valley

by Donald A. Twogood, Imperial Irrigation District, El, Centro, CA, USA,
Myron Corfman, Imperial Irrigation District, El, Centro, CA, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Development and Management Aspects of Irrigation and Drainage Systems


Imperial Valley, located in the southeast corner of California is one of the most intensely irrigated areas in the world. Since Colorado River salinity is currently about 800 mg/l (1. 1 tons per acre-feet) at Imperial Dam, over three million tons of salts are applied to the irrigated lands in the Valley each year. Removal of this salt is absolutely necessary in order to maintain reasonable crop production. An extensive drainage system provides for the drainage and removal of highly saline water from the root zone. The Imperial Irrigation District maintains the open drain system by removing silt and debris. Individual farmers employ local contractors to periodically inspect and clean their tile drain systems. The paper describes methods and procedures used in Imperial Valley to maintain a functional drainage system.

Subject Headings: Drainage systems | Salt water | Subsurface drainage | Rivers and streams | Dams | Crops | Vegetation | Drainage | Colorado River | California | United States

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