Management of weeds in irrigation and drainage channels


The book presents a new conceptual approach to the systematic management of aquatic and bankside weeds, based on interdisciplinary research which combines ecological, engineering, institutional and economic perspectives. The focus is on irrigation systems within tropical and sub-tropical areas. The approach is based on field experience from schemes in Zimbabwe and Kenya but it has wider application for irrigation schemes in Sub-Saharan Africa that use open channels for delivery of irrigation water or removal of drainage water.

The book provides practical guidance on the identification and diagnosis of problems arising from weeds in open channel systems. It describes a maintenance strategy that incorporates:

1) Recognition and understanding of aquatic weeds
2) Identification of suitable control strategies
3) Assessment of the engineering demands of a given channel
4) Quantification of economic implications

A classification of weed communities is provided to assist users to identify weeds and then select the most appropriate techniques for dealing with them.

Information is provided on manual, mechanical, chemical and biological control methods and guidance is given on the formulation of policy - setting objectives, identifying tasks, defining methods and institutional requirements and setting budgets.

The book provides users with a process for developing a multidisciplinary approach to dealing with the problem of aquatic weeds in a cost-effective way, such that the overall efficiency of the scheme is improved. Worked examples are included which clearly illustrate to readers the method for estimating the cost of a maintenance programme.


Water, Engineering and Development Centre, Loughborough University, UK. 211 pp.

Management of weeds in irrigation and drainage channels

Published 1 January 1997