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Overview of soil erosion from irrigation

Koluvek, Paul K. and Tanji, Kenneth K. and Trout, Thomas J. (1993) Overview of soil erosion from irrigation. Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering. 119(6):929-946.

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Of the 15,000,000 ha (37,000,000 acres) of irrigated land in the U.S.,
21% is affected by soil erosion to some extent. Irrigation-induced soil erosion has
been studied, primarily in the Northwestern United States, since 1940. A number
of studies have measured annual sediment yields from furrow-irrigated fields exceeding
20 t/ha (9 tons/acre) with some fields exceeding 100 t/ha (45 tons/acre).
Under the center-pivot sprinkler method, sediment yields as high as 33 t/ha (15
tons/acre) have been measured. Annual sediment yields as high as 4.5 t/ha (2 tons/
acre) were measured from irrigation tracts. Erosion is seldom excessive on slopes
less than 1% and is often excessive on slopes greater than 2%. Erosion reduces
the agricultural productivity of the fields and causes off-farm damages. In southern
Idaho, crop yield potential has been reduced by 25% due to 80 years of irrigation-induced
erosion. Some irrigation districts spend more than $50,000 annually to
remove sediment from drains. Sediment in irrigation return flows causes major
water-quality degredation problems in several rivers in the Western United States

Item Type: Article
NWISRL Publication Number: 0825
Subjects: Irrigation > Furrow irrigation > Erosion
Soil > Erosion
Mass Import - autoclassified (may be erroneous)
Depositing User: Dan Stieneke
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2010 21:53
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2016 20:43
Item ID: 610