On-Farm Management Alternatives to Reduce Subsurface Drainage in the San Joaquin Valley, California—Constraints to Implementation

by J. A. Frampton, California Dep of Health, Sacramento, CA, USA,
R. B. Smith, California Dep of Health, Sacramento, CA, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Steel Structures


The most cost effective approach for mitigating the drainage problem is incorporating on-farm management practices that reduce percolation and seepage losses to the shallow groundwater table and to recycle subsurface drainage waters. Measures to reduce percolation losses that are technically feasible and cost effective include improving irrigation scheduling and irrigation management practices. Irrigation management practices include improved control and measurement of applied irrigation water using weirs and flumes for open delivery systems. Other potential on-farm management practices include recycling subsurface drainage waters that are either blended with better quality surface water supplies or applied directly during crop growth stages least sensitive to salt damage. Although technically feasible management practices have been widely demonstrated, their implementation will depend on a wide range of economic, institutional, environmental, and social constraints.

Subject Headings: Subsurface drainage | Groundwater management | Management methods | Groundwater | Water management | Irrigation water | Percolation | Water table

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