Improved management of agricultural drainage ditches for water quality protection: An overview

Brian A. Needelman, Peter J A Kleinman, Jeffrey S. Strock, Arthur L. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

119 Scopus citations

Abstract

Agricultural drainage ditches are essential for the removal of surface and ground water to allow for crop production in poorly drained agricultural landscapes. Ditches also mediate the flow of pollutants from agroecosystems to downstream water bodies. This paper provides an overview of the science, management, and policy of ditches. Ditches provide a unique opportunity to address nonpoint source pollution problems from agriculture due to the concentration of the contaminants and the engineered nature of ditch systems. A better understanding of the nature of these complex system and the technologies available and under development to improve their management will assist in the design and implementation of water quality protection programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-178
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Soil and Water Conservation
Volume62
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2007

Keywords

  • Canals
  • Channelized streams
  • Drainage ditches
  • Water quality

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