Natural Hazards

, Volume 92, Issue 1, pp 1–17 | Cite as

Vertical drains to minimize duration of seasonal waterlogging in Eastern Ganges Basin flood plains: a field experiment

  • S. A. Prathapar
  • N. Rajmohan
  • B. R. Sharma
  • P. K. Aggarwal
Original Paper


In the Ganges basin, 8268.6 km2 of irrigation command area is waterlogged following monsoon rains. In this study, vertical drain (VD) (L × D, 7 × 1 m) filled with drainage gravel (6.5 m) and coarse sand (0.5 m) is installed in farmer’s agricultural field to minimize the duration of seasonal waterlogging and tested in Mukundpur village, Vaishalli District, Bihar, India. At the experimental site, inundation of rainfall and runoff from surrounding areas along with the seepage from an earthen canal start in September and remain till February, every year which prevents timely planting of wheat in November-end/December. Drainage due to percolation and recharge to groundwater is constrained by 6.4-m thick clay layer, below 0.5-m root-zone, and the groundwater level, which rises to the surface level. VDs were installed to provide a path and allow inundated water to recharge the aquifer, as groundwater level recedes. Groundwater level drop, floodwater infiltration rate, groundwater discharge, and VD capability were estimated through field data. Results show that VDs connected the floodwater to groundwater and transferred the floodwater to the aquifer when groundwater level started to recede. The site was fully drained by the end of December, permitting farmers to plant wheat in January providing cool nights at germination, thus increasing yields.


Seasonal waterlogging Agriculture land Drainage Vertical drains Bihar Eastern Ganges Basin 



Authors would like to thank ICAR Research Complex for Eastern Region, Patna, Bihar for their help in soil samples analysis and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and its donors for funding this research study. Authors wish to thank Dr. Dipankar Saha, Member, CGWB, India, for periodic consultations, and Mr. Anoj Kumar, IWMI, Hajipur office, Bihar, for his help in data collection.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NSP Pty LtdSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Water Research CenterKing Abdulaziz University (KAU)JeddahSaudi Arabia
  3. 3.International Water Management InstituteNew DelhiIndia
  4. 4.CGIAR Research Program on Climate ChangeAgriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), Borlaug Institute for South Asia (BISA)New DelhiIndia

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