Artificial drainage is successfully used to improve the moisture conditions of agricultural soils, but there are drawbacks, such as nutrient export and wetland destruction. This Special Section: Artificial Drainage of the Vadose Zone Journal features eight papers comprising diverse subjects, including the history of land drainage in England, monitoring strategies, nutrient losses under different management systems, and constructed wetlands to mitigate pollution from tile drainage. Still, there are issues such as catchment-scale management approaches or the influence of drainage management measures on carbon cycling upon which scientists will have to work in the 21st century.

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