Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Department name when degree awarded

Irrigation and Drainage Engineering

Committee Chair(s)

O. W. Israelson


O. W. Israelson


B.A. Etcheverry (4) in his book, Land Drainage and Flood Protection, states that inadequate drainage causes: (1) a public health menace, (2) an animal health menace, (3) lower grade plant life, (4) inadequate soil saturation, (5) lower soil temperatures, (6) shallow root penetration and, therefore, plant suffering in late summer months from effects of drought, (7) poor soil texture and workability, (8) increased surface washing and erosion of land surface, and (9) alkali and saline conditions. Other factors such as poorer roads and highways, decreased tax revenues, etc., might be added to this list. The advantages of adequate drainage are absence of these disadvantages. Many public as well as private benefits are realized from land drainage.

The present world situation has brought about a great need for increased food production. Jones, in the July 1952 issue of Agricultural Engineering (13), writes:

There is greater need for food and fiber production on United States farms today than ever before. U.S. population has increased 20 million in ten appreciable part of our food supplies must go to feed men in the military service...our present exports require the production ofrom approximately 50 million a result of these heavy demands, the agricultural surpluses we heard so much about a few years ago are now a myth.

It appears that over the U.S. some 30-40 million acres of land are now under cultivation on which crop yields could be increased 50 per cent or more by farm drainage work, an increase which can be obtained without increased demands for machinery, labor, seed, or fertilizer. All that would be required would be a limited amount of construction equipment such as small draglines, bulldozers, and graders. In view of the urgent need for increasing our food supply, it would seem that every effort should be made to provide the necessary critical materials to furnish and maintain the small amount of equipment necessary to carry on an expanded program of farm drainage.

Conditions are more favorable economically for drainage than ever before. Land values and food values have both increased considerably.