Assessment for Planning Erosion Control Strategies

Once soil erosion risk has been assessed using techniques described in the preceding paragraphs, a sound land-use plan can be developed, based on the best-suited options, under given economic and social conditions (present or proposed), land tenure arrangements, and production technology. The land use also must be compatible with the maintenance of environmental stability.

Initially, land capability (Fig. 4.29) [29] can be used to establish whether erosion occurs in the examined area when soil is used in accordance with its capability or if it is misused. Then, after determining the most appropriate land use, soil conservation strategies that are suitable for the land use selected are established. The next stage is to quantify the impacts of the proposed land use and conservation strategies on the environment and on crop productivity.

The examined problems also are characterized by a socioeconomic aspects because, in the short term, land use is economically profitable whereas soil conservation is not. However, long-term forecasting also must be considered in order to ensure soil use for future generations.

Figure 4.29 shows the general sequence of stages for soil conservation planning described above. This sequence can be specified for a particular land use (crop rotation, pasture, forest, rangeland, and urban areas).

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