Waterlogging is the state when the water below the soil comes on the surface of the land cause of several reasons it collects on the ground level of the land, the soil of the area fails to absorb it back. It may take the shape of the lake or pond. It may occur due to the natural condition of the soil but mostly worsen with deterioration in soil structure. When rainfall increases the soil’s ability to drain excess water, then the state of waterlogging can be detected at that place. The waterlogging is the water problem over the surface that does not channel.
In a research paper that waterlogging and salinity in the area of the Indus basin in Pakistan is one of the main reasons for the Economic Loss in the Agricultural Economy. 43% of the land in the Indus Basin Irrigation System is termed as waterlogged with the water level at a depth of lower than three meters that affects around 7.1 million hectares of area.
Cause of Waterlogging
There are many causes of waterlogging such as;
- Improper water draining which results in the increase in the percolation rate and it causes the raising of water level over the soil
- Flooding of irrigation water in the field can cause the rise of the water table, so that’s why a proper drainage system is essential.
- The water flowing through the river may infiltrate the soil
- Sometimes there is a blockage in the flow of subsoil water in subsoil due to which water table can rise.
- Water outflow from canals adds a quantity of water non-stop to the underground reservoir.
Effects of Waterlogging
The area is affected by waterlogging in several ways;
- Waterlogging creates the anaerobic condition in the root-zone of the crop. When the aeration of the soil is suitable, microbial activities in the ground produce the essential nitrates from the nitrogenous compounds present in the soil. It helps in the growth of crops. An amount of moisture content helps to create the anaerobic (Without oxygen) condition in the ground. The essential nourishing food or nutrients do not transfer to the roots of the plants. It results in the growth of the crops are affected.
- Waterlogging causes the growth of wild plants. When there is a condition of waterlogging in the soil, the aquatic plants are grown in a large amount. Due to which the important crop plants are not growing because wild plants take their place.
- Waterlogging causes tillage problems in the field. Due to excessive amounts of moisture in the soil, the soil is not tilth, so that’s why tillage operations in the affected area are all in vain.
- Due to waterlogging, the excess amount of harmful salt accumulates in the soil, also becomes the cause of salinity. The upward movement of water brings the toxic salt to the root-zone. It disrupts the growth of the crop plant. Also, the soil may become alkaline due to the excess presence of salt in it.
- There is a reduction in the time of maturity in the crops due to waterlogging. One of the main characteristics of the waterlogged area in the early maturation of the crop of that area. The period shortens considerably due to the maturity due to which the crop yield lowers.
Different measures should be considered to reduce waterlogging as seepage loss should be reduced, reducing the loss of water from the field due to percolation, improving the drainage system, etc. The areas near rivers and canals should be focused first for the improvement of their drainage system as they are collected, with a large amount of moisture. The rice field soil should be observed, before planting the crop whether they can accumulate more water or the rice should not be planted there, otherwise, the water table may rise and can become the cause of waterlogging.
Author: Junaid Nasir
Supervised by: Dr. Muhammad Yasin, Department of Agriculture Extension, College of Agriculture, UOS