Controlled drainage has the potential to moderate the variability in temporal water runoff and to control N leaching. The objective of this study was, firstly, to present a feasibility study to identify land that is suitable for installation of controlled drainage in four counties in the coastal areas of southern Sweden and, secondly, to present a methodology to validate land that has been identified as suitable. In the feasibility study, digital data of land use, slope gradient and soil types were individually rated and combined into suitability classes. Of 726,000 ha cultivated land, 21% was classified as very highly or highly suitable, 13% moderately suitable and 6% marginally suitable. The validation study comprised analyses of the study areas from (i) digitized information on existing drainage network associations, provided by regional authorities, (ii) a questionnaire study directed to land users and (iii) physical investigation of soil properties of chosen fields on 82 farms. At least 67% of the land being appointed as being suitable for controlled drainage in the feasibility study was drained or had a drainage demand. There was a high correspondence between the results obtained in the validation study as compared to the feasibility study.

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