Controlled drainage with subirrigation: a water management measure to discharge, retain and recharge freshwater
“Sufficient freshwater is needed for water dependent sectors as agriculture, nature, drinking water, and industry. However, even in low-lying, flood prone countries like the Netherlands, climate change, weather extremes, economic growth, urbanization, land subsidence and increased food production will make it more complex to guarantee sufficient freshwater for all sectors. Specifically, the range of weather extremes from extremely dry to extremely wet is expected to increase and extremes are expected to occur more frequently.
Over the last decades, drainage, land consolidation and urbanization resulted in declining groundwater tables. Additionally, the freshwater demand of different sectors caused an increased pressure on the regional groundwater system. As a consequence, the annual groundwater table in the Dutch sandy soil areas dropped over time with the effect that, nowadays, freshwater is becoming scarce in dry periods. Agriculture needs to anticipate on these conditions in order to prevent both drought and waterlogging. However, the current Dutch agricultural water management system is historically focused on water discharge and not designed to anticipate on both weather extremes.”
(Citation: de Wit, J., van Huijgevoort, M., van den Eertwegh, G., van Deijl, D., and Bartholomeus, R.: Controlled drainage with subirrigation: a water management measure to discharge, retain and recharge freshwater , EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-3104, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-3104, 2022)