AGRICULTURAL DRAINAGE CRITERIA
 
R.J. Oosterbaan
 
On web site www.waterlog.info
 
Copy of chapter 17 in: H.P.Ritzema (Ed.), Drainage Principles and Applications,
ILRI Publication 16, second revised edition, 1994, Wageningen, The Netherlands
 
Download or view the chapter from the FAQ's page
 
17. AGRICULTURAL DRAINAGE CRITERIA
 
This article discusses the role of drainage criteria in the design of agricultural drainage systems. For this purpose the kinds of drainage systems are thoroughly analysed and the important design factors are identified. As the aim of drainage systems is to enhance crop production, the relations between the system's parameters and agricultural performance need to be assessed.


TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
 
17.1 Introduction
 
17.2 Types and Applications of Agricultural Drainage Systems
        17.2.1 Definitions
        17.2.2 Classification
        17.2.3 Applications
 
17.3 Analysis of Agricultural Drainage Systems
        17.3.1 Objectives and Effects
        17.3.2 Agricultural Criterion Factors and Object Functions
        17.3.3 Water table Indices for Drainage Design
        17.3.4 Steady-State Versus Unsteady-State Drainage Equations
        17.3.5 Critical Duration, Storage Capacity, and Design Discharge        
        17.3.6 Irrigation, Soil Salinity, and Subsurface Drainage
        17.3.7 Summary: Formulation of Agricultural Drainage Criteria
 
17.4 Effects of Field Drainage Systems on Agriculture
        17.4.1 Field Drainage Systems and Crop Production
        17.4.2 Water table and Crop Production
        17.4.3 Water table and Soil Conditions
        17.4.4 Summary
 
17.5 Examples of Agricultural Drainage Criteria
        17.5.1 Rain-Fed Lands in a Temperate Humid Zone
        17.5.2 Irrigated Lands in Arid and Semi-Arid Regions
        17.5.3 Irrigated Lands in Sub-Humid Zones
        17.5.4 Rain-Fed Lands in Tropical Humid Zones
 
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diagram of drainage
       criteria Drainage criteria are determined on the basis of costs and benefits of the drainage system.

The agricultural benefits are largely due to the lowering of the water table permitting the soil to be oxygenized.
The negative effects may stem from the discharge as the chemicals carried in the water may do damage downstream.
The positive effects include an increase of the crop yield and the opportunity to introduce more valuable crops.