Drainage water storage for improved resiliency and environmental performance of agricultural landscapes

B. Reinhart, J. Frankenberger, L. Abendroth, L. Ahiablame, L. Bowling, L. Brown, M. Helmers, D. Jaynes, X. Jia, E. Kladivko, K. Nelson, J. Strock, M. Youssef

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


Drained lands, which include some of the most productive lands in the world, can experience both water excess and water deficit within a year. Storing drained water within the landscape could increase the sustainability of water for agriculture, particularly as intense rainfall and prolonged summer drought continue to increase under future climate change. A team of researchers and extension specialists from nine states are currently working towards a vision of transforming the process of designing and implementing agricultural drainage to include storage through the use of controlled drainage, saturated buffers, and drainage water recycling (i.e. capture, storage, and reuse). Field research data from experimental drainage sites from across the U.S. Corn Belt have been brought together in a database to support synthesis and modeling to determine economic and environmental impacts of drainage water storage. Results from this effort will extend the strategies and tools to agricultural producers, the drainage industry, watershed managers, agencies, and policy makers, and educate the next generation of engineers and scientists to design drainage systems that include water storage in the landscape.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication10th International Drainage Symposium 2016
PublisherAmerican Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781510855250
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Event10th International Drainage Symposium 2016 - Minneapolis, United States
Duration: Sep 6 2016Sep 9 2016

Publication series

Name10th International Drainage Symposium 2016


Conference10th International Drainage Symposium 2016
CountryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
A multi-state effort funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture-National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA), Agriculture and Food Research Initiative is coordinating efforts to evaluate and extend the practice of capturing and storing tile drain water (drainage water storage) in agricultural landscapes. The project, called Managing Water for Increased Resiliency of Drained Agricultural Landscapes, is also known as Transforming Drainage (http://transformingdrainage.org). This paper reviews opportunities for drainage water storage, describes field research locations where practices are being evaluated, and outlines the network of researchers and extension specialists working together to advance drainage water storage.

Funding Information:
This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award number 2015-68007-23193, “Managing Water for Increased Resiliency of Drained Agricultural Landscapes”, http://transformingdrainage.org. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this


  • Controlled drainage
  • Drainage water recycling
  • Saturated buffer
  • Tile drainage
  • Water quality
  • Water storage

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