Many irrigation schemes throughout the world have turned into unproductive saline flats and swamps. This dramatic change can occur within a few years of irrigation starting and has been part of irrigation schemes from earliest times up to the present day.
The main cause of this salinisation is normally excess irrigation water use combined with poor drainage. Any form of waterlogging will have an adverse effect on plant growth.
Cole, K S. and Middlemas, J P.
"Draining irrigation areas,"
Journal of the Department of Agriculture, Western Australia, Series 4: Vol. 26
, Article 11.
Available at: http://researchlibrary.agric.wa.gov.au/journal_agriculture4/vol26/iss4/11