Articles | Volume 3, issue 3
30 Sep 1999
30 Sep 1999

Ditch water levels manages for environmental aims: effects on field soil water regimes

A. Armstrong and S. Rose

Abstract. The effects of ditch water management regimes on water tables are examined for two test sites in England, Halvergate in the Broads and Southlake Moor in the Somerset Levels and Moors Environmentally Sensitive Areas. It is observed that in some fields the effects of water management are only poorly transferred from the ditch to the field centre, especially where the hydraulic conductivity of the subsoil is small. Where there are large variations in the ditch water levels, reflecting the influence of major ditches subject to pump drainage, field soil water regimes differ significantly. Nevertheless, the effects of even quite small changes in the ditch regime cam be noticeable. Simple modelling studies show that much greater effects can be achieved by increasing the frequency of ditches within wetlands.