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Drainage water management, also known as controlled drainage, is the practice of using a water table control structure at the end of the subsurface drain pipe to reduce subsurface drainage, and thereby nitrate losses. Methods to quantify the potential effects of drainage water management for entire watersheds are needed to evaluate the impacts of large-scale adoption. A distributed modeling approach was developed to apply the field-scale DRAINMOD model at the watershed scale, and used to assess the impact of drainage water management on nitrate load from an intensively subsurface drained agricultural watershed in west central Indiana. The watershed was divided into 6460 grid cells for which drain spacing, soil parent...
Long-term hydrologic simulations are presented predicting the effects of drainage water management on subsurface drainage, surface runoff and crop production in Iowa's subsurface drained landscapes. The deterministic hydrologic model, DRAINMOD was used to simulate Webster (fine-loamy, mixed, superactive, mesic) soil in a Continuous Corn rotation (WEBS_CC) with different drain depths from 0.75 to 1.20 m and drain spacing from 10 to 50 m in a combination of free and controlled drainage over a weather record of 60 (1945–2004) years. Shallow drainage is defined as drains installed at a drain depth of 0.75 m, and controlled drainage with a drain depth of 1.20 m restricts flow at the drain outlet to maintain a water table...