Netherlands: Adjustable draining may keep water on premises

An innovative draining system makes it possible to keep water after a surplus of rain for use during dry periods. An agriculturist will be in a position to control the draining level on the basis of variable circumstances on his lands. In this way he becomes a water manager in his own company: the water is being managed at source. This improves the agricultural production during dry periods and assists in preventing the drying up of the area. Reduction of peaks in draining after heavy rains is also possible with clever management. A third advantage of adjustable draining is that washing away of nutrients to surface water can be decreased. The system is already in use in the south-east of the Netherlands.
Wageningen UR have researched the working of complex adjustable draining in Dutch circumstances for a period of five years and have also looked at experiences abroad. The final report 'More water with adjustable draining?' has been handed over to the principals during a symposium on 11 October.
The consensus of the symposium was that adjustable draining should always be made-to-order; it is not satisfactory in all situations. The possibility of draining should not be the reason to drain in areas, which are sensitive to drought where drainage is not done at present, as per Lodewijk Stuyt of Wageningen UR during his presentation of the final report. Adjustable draining could be taken into consideration as a possible measure in careful consultation with agriculturists and ground managers.
Source: Wageningen UR

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