PROJECT GOAL: Minimize the environmental impacts of subsurface drainage while maintaining or improving agricultural productivity.

PROJECT OBJECTIVE: Demonstrate drainage water management (DWM) as a flood mitigation practice and its water quality and quantity benefits. 

Project Details

Project partners are evaluating drainage water management on operating farms in the Red River Valley.  Additional information, including study design and monitoring, can be found in the project factsheet below.  

Red River Valley Drainage Water Management Project Factsheet (PDF)

What is DWM?

Drainage water management (DWM) or controlled drainage, helps producers manage water on their fields.  This practice can increase crop production, keep nutrients on the field and send cleaner water downstream.

Producers control the water by raising or lowering the elevation of underground drainage.  Water can temporarily be held back within the root zone for later use by the crop or it can be released to drain the field for planting.

View a video of the DWM process and benefits.


Why the Red River Valley?

The Red River Valley, in northwestern Minnesota, has experienced an increasing amount of subsurface (tile) drain installation. Subsurface drainage is common in other areas of the state, however it is becoming more widespread in this region. This project allows regional farmers to see how DWM works in their own "backyard".


legacylogo-sml.gifThis project is a unique collaborative effort between landowners, multiple government agencies, agricultural businesses and the University of Minnesota.