Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: July 25, 2005
Publication Date: August 18, 2005
Citation: Fausey, N.R., Baker, B.J., Allred, B.J., Brown, L. 2005. Wrsis: an innovative approach to agricultural water treatment and recycling. Agricultural Drainage Field Day Proceedings. August 19, 2005. University of Minnesota, Lamberton, Minnesota. p. 7-14. Technical Abstract: A Wetland Reservoir Subirrigation System (WRSIS) is an innovative agricultural water management system (Allred, et al. 2003). WRSIS is comprised of a wetland, a water storage reservoir, and a network of subsurface pipes used at different times to either drain or irrigate crops through the root zone (see Figure 1). The integration of these components allows WRSIS to operate in a closed hydrologic loop mode most of the time, thus minimizing offsite water release. The expected benefits are: increased crop yields on irrigated acres; reduced offsite delivery of nutrients, pesticides, and sediment; increased wetland vegetation and wildlife habitat. Subirrigation increased corn and soybean yields by 48% and 40%, respectively during dry growing seasons and 10% and 9% during near average or wetter growing seasons. In 2003 the wetland at the Defiance County WRSIS location reduced the concentration of Nitrate Nitrogen, Total Filterable Solids, and Total Phosphorus in the water exiting compared to the water entering by 95%, 36% and 31% respectively. (Reductions are based on the average concentration entering from both surface and subsurface sources) These constructed wetland sites have developed wetland vegetation and provide additional breeding and nesting habitat for wildlife.