A colleague is developing and examining the idea that the benefits of short-term
storage and management of flood water on farmland may be much greater than the
associated costs. This storage would supplement the storage that is already
available in COE and Small Watershed structures. If large amounts of flood
water could be stored on farmland, the effective operation of all these
activities should be closely coordinated. I include a summary of the idea and a
Short-term storage of flood waters by the temporary plugging of ditches and
drainage systems and holding water on farmland with berms around the edge of
fields and other actions could reduce the social and environmental cost
associated with downstream flood impacts. In return, farmers would be paid an
amount that would cover the opportunity cost of the land for the period of
runoff storage including crop loss and any other related costs. Additionally,
there could be cost sharing of installing berms and risers to store water on the
surface, gates to retain water in drainage ditches, and modifications to
drainage systems to temporarily store water in drainage pipes and the soil.
First, I solicit and welcome comments on (1) the feasibility of storing and
managing runoff on farmland and (2) any suggestions and ideas on ways that can
be used to provide short-term storage of water on farmland.
Second, if you have installed berms and risers, gates in drainage ditches,
controlled drainage and subirrigation systems, or other systems that would
provide short-term storage of water on farmland, please share information on the
costs associated with these systems in as much detail as is available.
Thank you very much for the information and ideas you share. Publications and
other materials welcomed.
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