Design and Management of Evaporation Ponds

by Dale K. Melville, Provost & Pritchard, Inc Engineering Group, Fresno, United States,
Roger L. Reynolds, Provost & Pritchard, Inc Engineering Group, Fresno, United States,
David F. Bradford, Provost & Pritchard, Inc Engineering Group, Fresno, United States,
Rex E. Marsh, Provost & Pritchard, Inc Engineering Group, Fresno, United States,
Terrell P. Salmon, Provost & Pritchard, Inc Engineering Group, Fresno, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Management of Irrigation and Drainage Systems: Integrated Perspectives

Abstract: The evaporation ponds in use in the San Joaquin Valley were designed and constructed to dispose of agricultural drainage water in a region of low soil permeability and high water table. Since constructing the ponds between 1972 and 1986, unforeseen environmental concerns have arisen, chiefly the contamination of wildlife by trace elements in the drainwater. To alleviate these concerns a number of design and management changes have been recommended or are under consideration. These changes pertain to existing ponds, rather than future ponds, because few if any new evaporation basins are expected to be constructed. This is because of the high monetary cost of constructing new ponds, potential adverse environmental effects and the increasing costs and decreasing reliability of water supply to the Valley agricultural areas with drainage needs. This paper provides an overview of the design and management changes under consideration to mitigate environmental impacts of the ponds.

Subject Headings: Drainage | Environmental issues | Evaporation | Drainage basins | Ponds | Water supply | Irrigation water | Water table

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