A component of the course “Filling the Pipeline: Agricultural Drainage Education to Meet 21st Century Water Management Needs”
Instructor: Dr. Jane Frankenberger, Purdue University
Overview: Drainage water recycling is the practice of capturing excess water drained from fields, storing the drained water in a pond or reservoir, and using the stored water to irrigate crops when there is a water deficit. This module provides an overview of its benefits, examples of how it has been implemented in several Midwest locations, and an online tool for sizing a reservoir.
Contains: Module Outline, Homework Part 1 and Part 2, Video Tutorial Handout, Slides
After completing this module, students will be able to:
- Describe the concept and opportunities of drainage water recycling
- Discuss the goals, decisions, and challenges of drainage water recycling at specific sites.
- Quantify potential irrigation and water quality benefits of drainage water recycling at a site, and understand how the reservoir size and other factors influence these benefits.
Step by Step Guide to Complete the Module:
A. Concept and opportunities of drainage water recycling
Watch the Introductory Video 1: Drainage Water Recycling Overview, Benefits, and Barriers.
Read ABE-156W, Questions and Answers About Drainage Water Recycling for the Midwest, an Extension publication that provides an overview of the practice.
Watch the first video at https://transformingdrainage.org/videos/drainage-water-recycling/ called Drainage Water Recycling: Capturing, Storing, and Using Drained Water for Multiple Benefits . This provides an overview of drainage water recycling, what challenges are addressed by the practice, and why there is growing interest in the practice.
Homework: Answer the questions in Part 1 of the Homework document.
Watch videos 2, 3, & 4 at https://transformingdrainage.org/videos/drainage-water-recycling/
B. Goals, decisions, and challenges of drainage water recycling at specific sites
Read through Part 2 of the Homework document so you are familiar with the questions.
Watch any 2 of the 3 “Spotlight videos” at https://transformingdrainage.org/videos/dwr-spotlights/, These present a sort of “virtual field trip” of sites where drainage water recycling has been implemented in Minnesota, Michigan, or Missouri.
Watch video 4: “Edge of field practice decision trees” (10:05 min)
Homework: Answer the questions in Part 2 of the Homework document as you watch them.
C. Calculating potential irrigation and water quality benefits of drainage water recycling at a site
Note: This section of the module goes more in depth into calculation of benefits, and will take about 1.5 hours to complete, including watching the videos. Selecting an appropriate reservoir size is important for providing adequate benefits without excessive costs. Students will learn to use the EDWRD online tool, which allows users to estimate irrigation and water quality benefits from different drainage water recycling systems.
Read through the EDWRD Video Tutorial Support Document for EDWRD. Make sure you understand the scenario that is described, so that you follow the process to achieve the design goals.
Run EDWRD on your own for an Iowa site, to complete Homework Part 2A.
Run EDWRD on your own for the same site to complete Homework Part 2B
Read ABE-165: Potential Benefits of Drainage Water Recycling: A Case Study from Indiana: Extension publication that shows how benefits from a drainage water recycling system can be estimated using the EDWRD tool.
Optional Additional Readings:
Frontier: Drainage Water Recycling in the Humid Regions of the U.S.: Challenges and Opportunities. This peer-reviewed paper in the Journal of the ASABE provides an overview of drainage water recycling benefits, challenges, and future research directions.
This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture (award number 2018-70003-27661). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.