leakage from canals and above all from percolation in irrigated fields from the absence of
sufficient natural drainage capacity of the aquifer. These waters further add to the groundwater
reservoir, thereby raising the water table. In lands with considerable differences in topography, waterlogging occurs primarily in depressions, valley floors, or at the foot of slopes. It is caused by the flow of groundwater from irrigation losses in higher-lying areas.
Salinity develops in arid and semi arid regions, simultaneously with waterlogging. As long as the water table remains deep, the salts, imported with the irrigation water, are washed down into the deeper soils with the percolation losses of irrigation water. If the water table becomes more shallow however, excess irrigation can no longer take place, otherwise the land would become flooded with stagnating water. At this point, salt leaching no longer occurs, and the salts brought in with the irrigation water accumulate i...
... middle of paper ...
... animal consumption, animals consuming salty water can have many health problems. As an example, dry cows need
about 8 to 10 gallons of water daily. Cows in their last 3 months of pregnancy may drink up to 15 gallons a day. Those in milk need about five times as much water as the volume of milk produced. And calves require much more water after weaning than before.
Despite the many disappointing results, irrigation can and will need to be a central component in producing food for the world’s growing population and in sustaining the livelihood of farmers. In the past many positive examples have been created. It is therefore vital that engineers and economists rehabilitate the reputation of irrigation by embarking on more effective irrigation projects in which they give due attention to environmental impacts that may change an environment permanently in the future.
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