The Causes of Waterlogging from Irrigation Essay

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Humanity throughout the years have endeavored to increase production of arable farmland to maintain the ability to feed the ever increasing population. Irrigation is generally considered the most effective way of increasing farmland production. It can help supplement the water needed for crop growth when rainfall is at a low point or, in more humid areas, it can help bridge dryer times and reduce agricultural risks. The goal of irrigating is to increase the land usable for crops, the crop production per harvest per season, and the diversity of crops that can be grown in different areas(R.J. Oosterbaan, Page 1). With the advent of irrigation leads to the problem of waterlogging. In flat lands, waterlogging is the result of local losses of…show more content…
Groundwater flow also plays a role in the salinization of flat land by redistributing the salts from irrigated to un-irrigated field. Submerged rice fields in relatively permeable soils also greatly aggravate the problem of excess groundwater. Alan F. Arbogast goes into greater detail (Page 572, Chapter 20) in Discovering Physical Geography by focusing in detail on the salinity situation in Australia and the way that they are coping with their situation. In Western Australia, the main natural source of salinity is believed to be the from the ocean, salt is deposited inland by prevailing wind, rainfall and dust. Over a long length of time this process has deposited large amounts of salt particles in what is now the Western Australian wheatbelt. Some salt in the this soil profile may date back even further, to when the parent rocks themselves were formed. These rocks release salts as they weather over time. Other possible sources of salt are ancient drainage basins or inland seas that evaporated during arid periods, leaving behind salt deposits that still remain today. This is in addition to the salt that can be formed by irrigation and other artificial means, adding greatly to a salt situation that is precarious to begin with. This salt has a debilitating effect on plants growing in this area. Under normal conditions, plants readily obtain water from the soil by movement of water from a lower salt concentration outside the plant to a higher salt concentration in the
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