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Materials for subsurface land drainage systems

FAO Irrigation and Drainage Paper 60









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    Guidelines and computer programs for the planning and design of land drainage systems 2007
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    Drainage of agricultural land is one of the most critical water management tools for the sustainability of productive cropping systems, as frequently this sustainability is extremely dependent on the control of waterlogging and soil salinization in the rootzone of most crops. On some agricultural lands, the natural drainage is sufficient to maintain high productivity. However, many others require improvements in surface and subsurface drainage in order to optimize land productivity, wh ile maintaining the quality of soil resources. As time passes, drainage requirements may change because of changes in the general socio-economic conditions, such as input and output prices, and more intensive crop rotations.
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    Proceedings of the Second Meeting of the International Network of Salt-Affected Soils (INSAS)
    Managing salt-affected soils for a sustainable future
    2023
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    The proceedings of the second meeting of the International Network of Salt-Affected Soils (INSAS) contain the abstracts of the papers presented during the workshop in Tashkent (22–26 May, 2023). The papers provide the up-to-date scientific knowledge and practical solutions for four topics: (1) mapping, assessing and monitoring of salt-affected soils; (2) sustainable management of salt-affected soils: practices and policy; (3) halophyte and saline agriculture and its effect on soil health; (4) integrated soil and water management under saline/sodic conditions. Under the first topic, modern techniques (geophysics, remote sensing, NIR spectroscopy) for mapping and monitroing of salt-affected soils as wel as mapping of environmental susceptibility to soil salinization in dry regions were presented. Under the second topic, different approaches to reclaim saline and sodic soils and improve seed germination including the use of different organic and inorganic amendments, organic biostimulants, biochar and phytoremediation were discussed. Moreover, biodiversity of salt-affected soils and its change along salinity gradient as well as the impact of soil enzymes on the structure and function of soil microbial communities and how soil degradation is associated with specific soil microbiota were reported. Policy gaps on addressing soil salinity were analyzed and further steps how to integrate agenda on SAS into existing agricultural policies were proposed. The results of Participatory Rural Appraisal approach to survey among farmers were provided. Under the third topic, the results on testing different conventional and non-conventional crops in field trials on salt-affected soils irrigated by fresh and saline water were reported. The influence of soil properties on growing halophytes was considered. Under the fourth topic, the ways to optimize the use of poor-quality irrigation water in agriculture were discussed. Some studies reported about the results of modeling of salt and water transport in soils for estimation of leaching requirement or root zone soil salinity. Several studies reported about the negative aspects of using brackish water leading to secondary soil salinization and sodification. For salt-affected areas with groundwater use for irrigation, the approach combining the Food Systems Approach and integrated water resources management was proposed to address the interdependent challenges of food and water security.
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    Aquaculture in desert and arid lands: development constraints and opportunities. FAO Technical Workshop. 6-9 July 2010, Hermosillo, Mexico 2011
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    Aquaculture in desert and arid lands has been growing steadily over the last decade thanks to the modern technologies and alternative energy sources that have allowed water in these places of extremes to be exploited more effectively and more efficiently, using it for both crop irrigation and production of fish. This publication presents the evolution of desert and arid lands aquaculture in the past few decades in seven countries and regions (Australia, Egypt, Israel, Mexico, Southern Africa, the United States of America and Central Asia) describing the achievements of a number of farming operations, which demonstrate the significant potential for farming commercial aquatic organisms using geothermal, fresh and brackish waters. The global overview on desert aquaculture development shows, through the use of maps and tables, those countries with vast extensions of arid territories that should be better investigated for potential aquaculture development. Limiting f actors were extensively discussed during the workshop, and several measures were identified and proposed. Desert conditions are characterized by high day temperatures, cold winter nights, high solar radiation, scarce precipitation and very low relative humidity. The experts reached consensus on the definition of aquaculture in the desert and arid lands, which was defined as follows: “Aquaculture activities practised in desert and arid lands characterized by low precipitation (<250 mm/y ear), high solar radiation, high rate of evaporation, using subsurface and surface water”. At the end of the workshop, a series of recommendations were elaborated by the experts to assist FAO Member countries wishing to generate a favourable national environment to promote sustainable aquaculture development. Limited water supply remains the single largest constraint for aquaculture development in arid and semi-arid regions; however, where the resource is available, the development of integrated aqua-agriculture systems may certainly provide economic output opportunities from such resource-limited regions. Such farming systems may also enable the production of highly priced fish, vegetables and fruits all year round.

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