Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Managing agricultural drainage ditches for water quality protection

Authors
item Needelman, Brian - UNIV OF MARYLAND
item Kleinman, Peter
item Allen, Arthur - UMES
item Strock, Jeffrey - UNIV OF MINNESOTA

Submitted to: Journal of Soil and Water Conservation
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 1, 2007
Publication Date: November 1, 2007
Citation: Needelman, B.A., Kleinman, P.J., Allen, A.L., Strock, J.S. 2007. Managing agricultural drainage ditches for water quality protection. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 62:171-178.

Interpretive Summary: Concern over the role of drainage ditches as conduits of agricultural pollution is spurring considerable research on drainage ditches and their management. 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. This paper reviews the science, management, and policy of ditches.

Technical 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 systems and the technologies available and under development to improve their management will assist in the design and implementation of water quality protection programs.

Last Modified: 8/29/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page