Be the first to use new drainage tools at August workshop

URBANA, Ill. – Managing land resources is a competing balance of environmental, economic, social, and life-sustaining issues in an ever-changing and ever-growing world. Land improvement practices play a key role in sustainable land management.

University of Illinois Extension and the Illinois Land Improvement Contractors Association are offering a three-day workshop Aug. 16 to 18 at Richland Community College in Decatur. This hands-on, comprehensive training will provide contractors all the tools necessary to design and implement subsurface drainage practices.

Register online at: Cost is $65 for ILICA members and $85 for nonmembers.

Richard Cooke, Illinois Extension specialist and College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences professor, and Anamelechi Falasy, graduate research assistant in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, will demonstrate a new resource for contractors. Illini Drainage Tools are a series of one-click QGIS processing plugins being developed at the U of I Drainage Laboratory, University of Illinois.

"These easy-to-use routines were developed to make data analysis on drainage sites using LiDAR DEM data to be both easy and available to broader audiences," Falasy says. "It also removes the barrier of having any technical involvement or GIS expertise outside the plugin interface."

The workshop includes the following topics:

  • Initial Considerations
  • Surveying Basics, Calculating Slopes, Understanding Soils
  • Drainage Coefficients, Lateral Spacings
  • Sizing Mains, System Layout, Outlets, and Ditches
  • Conservation Drainage
  • Principals of Sub-irrigation
  • Combination Drainage | Sub-irrigation Systems
  • Drainage Design Tools
  • ILICA Operator Skills 101
  • Introduction to LiDAR and QGIS
  • Drainage Design with LiDAR and QGIS, Illinois Drainage Tools

"The Illinois Drainage Tools offers a link between science and practical application of LiDAR data for most environmental analyses," Cooke says. 

If a reasonable accommodation is needed to participate, email Richard Cooke, Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time to meet your access needs.

ABOUT EXTENSION: Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities.

SOURCE: Richard Cooke, University of Illinois Extension Specialist
WRITER: Judy Mae Bingman, University of Illinois Extension Marketing and Communications Manager