Drainage Water Management
Practice Code: 554
Reporting Unit: Acre (Ac.)
Drainage water management (DWM) is the process of managing water discharges from surface and/or subsurface agricultural drainage systems.
Purposes and Benefits
Reduce nutrient, pathogen, and/or pesticide loading from drainage systems into downstream receiving waters
Improve productivity, health, and vigor of plants
Reduce oxidation of organic matter in soils
Reduce wind erosion or particulate matter (dust) emissions
Provide seasonal wildlife habitat
What is Drainage Water Management (DWM)?
Drainage water management is the process of managing the timing and the amount of water discharged from agricultural drainage systems. DWM is based on the premise that the same drainage intensity is not required at all times during the year. With DWM, both water quality improvement and production benefits are possible. Water quality benefits are derived by minimizing unnecessary tile drainage, reducing the amount of nitrate that leaves farm fields. DWM systems can also retain water in fields that could be used for crop production later in the season.
Where does DWM work?
The flatter the topography, the better
The more intensive the tile system, the better
To be cost-effective, fields should be 20 acres or more in size
Is your land suitable for a DWM System?
Visit your local USDA-NRCS office for a field evaluation.
Ground Disturbing Potential of Conservation Practices
This is a potential ground disturbing conservation practice. Any project with ground disturbing or potential ground disturbing practices planned may need to be submitted for review by the State Historic Preservation Officer and Tribal Historic Preservation Officers. Please see the Cultural Resources Review Process Flowchart for an outline of this process. View a list of conservation practices used in New York State, and their ground disturbing potential.
Conservation Practice Support Documents
Support Documents for this conservation practice are available for download from an abbreviated version of Section IV of the NRCS Field Office Technical Guide (FOTG).
All support documents associated with this and other conservation practices are available at the NRCS Field Office Technical Guide web site.
Related Conservation Practices
This practice is commonly used in a Conservation Management System with practices such as:
Nutrient Management (590)
Waste Recycling (633)
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