The importance of irrigation in the world's agriculture is rapidly increasing. Although it is practised on a large scale mainly in arid and semi-arid zones, supplementary irrigation is becoming popular in semi-humid regions as well. The record of irrigation speaks for itself in terms of increased crop production. However, the question remains as to how permanent the achievement may be. Judging from history, it seems that irrigation eventually failed in many regions because the kwledge and techlogy available to society at the time were incapable of coping with the problems created. Undoubtedly soil salinity is the most prevalent and widespread problem limiting crop productivity in irrigated agriculture. It has, therefore, attracted the attention of the scientific community since the advent of modern agromic research. Through the past six to seven decades a considerable body of information has been accumulated, which has promoted the understanding of the principles involved and helped to develop the techlogy for coping with the problems. Our present kwledge, if judiciously applied, is adequate for coping with many of the salinity problems resulting from mismanagement of irrigation and drainage. But for this kwledge to be used, it has to be generally kwn and understood and be re-examined from time to time.
Springer-Verlag Berlin and Heidelberg GmbH & Co. KG
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Springer-Verlag Berlin and Heidelberg GmbH & Co. K