Chronic problems of salt, selenium, boron and other naturally occurring elements in surface and groundwater supplies plague agricultural regions throughout the Westside of the San Joaquin Valley and the western U.S. Compounding the problem is the build-up of salty subsurface groundwater resulting from dense clay layers and inadequate natural drainage.
The Integrated On-Farm Drainage Management (IFDM) system was developed to manage these problems. A state-of-the-art, yet practical irrigation management system, the IFDM provides for drainage water reuse to improve water availability for crop production and to minimize salt and selenium risks to water quality and the environment.
IFDM manages irrigation water on salt sensitive, high value crops and reuses drainage water to irrigate salt-tolerant crops, trees and halophyte plants. Salt and selenium are removed from the farming system and can be marketed.
This system views the subsurface drainage water containing salts and selenium as resources, rather than considering them as wastes and environmental problems.