Drainage Contractor

Virtual Event
North American Drainage Conference 2024
March 5, 2024 at 1:00pm EST

Decision support tools to inform drain design

Speaker: Ehsan Ghane

Saturated buffers (NRCS standard 604) are designed to reduce nitrate loss from subsurface-drained farms. The objective of this study is to develop and test a new saturated buffer decision-support tool for designing and evaluating saturated buffers. The CIG Classic-funded tool has two model components: DRAINMOD and the saturated buffer module. After the user zooms in to the area of interest, they draw a boundary around the field of interest. The tool automatically retrieves site-specific data including the local SSURGO soil, DAYMET weather, and digital elevation model as input to the tool. The user needs to enter drainage system properties, cropping system, buffer location, and cost of the system. Then, the tool identifies the optimum width of the buffer that maximizes nitrate load removal. The tool also provides financial indices to evaluate the profitability of the saturated buffer. These financial indices include payback period and cost per pound of nitrate removed.