Promotion of the availability of research results concerning land drainage in Finland and co-operation between farmers, researchers and authorities targeting to a cleaner Baltic Sea. Extention of the Commitment until 2022.
Organisation: Salaojituksen Tukisäätiö sr / Drainage Foundation sr.
Time: 10/2015 – 12/2020
The ecological status of the Baltic Sea is related to effluents and runoff. In Finland, efficient waste water treatment plants have decreased the effluents from point sources considerably. The focus is now on decreasing diffuse loads from rural areas. In addition, advanced water management practices aim also at mitigation of climate change and increase in resilience in the ecosystem and landscapes.
Optimizing field water balance is environmentally sustainable. When the growing conditions are optimal, crops utilize nutrients efficiently thus reducing the risk of nutrient leaching to water courses. In cultivated fields, the water balance depends on the artificial drainage of fields. In addition to other beneficial effects, proper drainage provides the optimal growing conditions for plants and prevents soil degradation by compaction which would be a risk associated with cultivation in wet conditions. Optimal drainage reduces surface runoff and consequent erosion. The multiple positive effects of drainage management are largely indirect and thus still not fully recognized nor effectively communicated.
Salaojituksen Tukisäätiö sr (Drainage Foundation sr) has supported research projects related to subsurface drainage of fields since 1984. The projects have been related to various environmental issues such as nutrient loadings, the leaching of harmful elements or compounds as well as erosion, soil compaction and gas emissions. Beside this activity many drainage related studies have been carried out by other actors. The research results have been published in diverse national and international journals. As part of its existing Baltic Sea Commitment, Drainage Foundation established and further maintains an open access land drainage research databank to improve the possibility of researchers and the public all around the Baltic Sea to better access and utilize the research results published in Finnish, Swedish and English. Some of the reports are only in Finnish or Swedish, but at least most of them contain an abstract in English and the databank has links to the original research reports. In addition, Drainage Foundation sr will arrange national and international seminars where all actors such as farmers, researchers, and authorities are welcome to discuss the best water management practices of fields in relation to a cleaner Baltic Sea. To better reach land managers and all other key actors, the foundation will support the publication of a guide with best practices on field water balance optimization. By this commitment, Drainage Foundation sr contributes to increasing awareness of field water balance optimization as a basis which enables climate-friendly and productive field cultivation.
- 31.5.2016. Land drainage data bank published on the web site of Drainage Foundation sr
- 31.12.2017. Seminars arranged
- 31.12.2020. Third seminar arranged as a webinar 1.10.2020.
- 31.12.2022. Guide published
- 31.12.2022. Fourth seminar/webinar arranged.