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Drainage Water Management

DRAINAGE WATER MANAGEMENT (DWM) or controlled drainage helps producers manage water on their fields.  Drainage Water Management can:

  • increase crop production

  • keep nutrients on the field

  • reduce soil erosion

  • and send cleaner water downstream

DWM helps to control the amount and timing of water leaving agricultural fields through tile lines. It works by adding water control structures to existing tile networks to raise or lower the water table to a desired elevation depending on crop needs.  DWM is based on the premise that the same drainage intensity is not required at all times during the year.  Water can temporarily be held back within the root zone for later use by the crop or it can be released to drain the field for planting.


Check out some of the Drainage Water Management videos and other informational links below:

Funds are available NOW
to make Drainage Water Managment
part of YOUR
farming operation. 

For a few years, Yellow Medicine SWCD has partnered with USDA and Ecosystem Services Exchange of Adair, Iowa to implement these projects without the normal roadblocks of government programs. Through this program, qualifying fifields in Yellow Medicine, Renville,   Lac qui Parle, Lyon, and Lincoln Counties are eligible for automatically approved funding on feasible sites. Systems may have control structures and saturated buffers installed at ZERO cost to the customer.

Click HERE to learn more!

Drainage Water Management Videos:

Drainage water management lets farmers actively manage the water on their fields, both in times of surplus and deficit.

NRCS and conservation partners help landowners manage water drainage, increasing farm productivity and reducing negative environmental impact.

This video from NDSU Extension explains water holding capacity and how to control the water table in the field.

WATER CONTROL STRUCTURES can help producers hold water and nutrients in the root zone when crops need it and release water when there is excess.

Saturated Buffers: A nutrient removal option for farmers.

More helpful Drainage Water Management information:

The MN DEPT of AG provides information on the Red River Valley Water MGMT project and other Drainage Water MGMT links.

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