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This publication provides planners, decision-makers and engineers with guidelines to sustain irrigated agriculture and at the same time to protect water resources from the negative impacts of agricultural drainage water disposal. On the basis of case studies from Central Asia, Egypt, India, Pakistan and the United States of America, it distinguishes four broad groups of drainage water management options: water conservation, drainage water reuse, drainage water disposal and drainage water treatment. All these options have certain potential impacts on the hydrology and water quality in an area, with interactions and trade-offs occurring when more than one is applied. This publication presents a framework to help make a selection from among the various drainage water management options and to evaluate their impact and contribution towards development goals. In addition, it presents technical background and guidelines on each of the options to enable improved assessment of their impacts and to facilitate the preparation of drainage water management plans and designs.

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