Design and Implementation of On-Farm Surface Drainage Projects in the Humid Tropics of Mexico

by John C. Tiedeman,
Rodolfo Namuche Vargas,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: North American Water and Environment Congress & Destructive Water


In the humid tropics of southeastern Mexico, the Mexican National Water Commission (CNA) has constructed a network of collector drains for stormwater runoff removal. At the same time the CNA has delegated the responsibility to local user groups to construct and maintain on-farm and secondary drainage systems. Due to economic and organizational limitations, as well as limited access to equipment and technological support, minimal progress has been at the farm level. The objective of this paper is to present the experiences of 1992–1994 in the design and construction of farm drainage systems in the state of Tabasco, considering both the appropriate technology adopted, as well as the economic and organizational knowledge gained in working with landowner groups, private technical assistance firms, and government institutions. Strategies were developed for soil and rainfall moisture management (controlled drainage) to maximize benefits in rainfed agriculture. Experience was gained in the installation of 20,000 meters (65,000 feet) of on-farm and farm collector drains benefitting 1500 hectares (3,750 acres) and 150 families.

Subject Headings: Surface drainage | Humidity | Developing countries | Hydraulic design | Tropical regions | Project management | Agriculture | Drainage systems | Mexico

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