Conservation Drainage

Conservation drainage is an emerging set of practices designed to maintain drainage benefits while addressing water quality and flow impacts. Along with cropping and nutrient management strategies to limit nitrate losses and improve nitrogen efficiency, conservation drainage includes several drainage system modifications and edge-of-field practices for reducing nitrate losses from drainage. Examples of these practices include controlled drainage (drainage water management), bioreactors, saturated buffers, and treatment wetlands. Many of these practices are included in the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, and various programs are available to aid producers seeking to adopt these practices. ISA has several projects involving implementation of conservation drainage practices.

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