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By Daniel Hillel (Auth.)

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However, when it is feasible, the possibility of controlling and increasing the a m o u n t of surface runoff obtainable from such lands can be of great importance, particularly where water is scarce and the runoff thus obtained can augment the water supply of the region. The collection and utilization of runoff have been practiced by desert peoples since antiquity. In large areas of the Middle East it is still possible today to find functional ancient systems of terraced stream beds which were used for farming, whose water supply was often augmented by runoff water collected on the adjoining hillsides and brought to the fields by means of sophisticated conveyance systems (Evenari and Koller, 1956; Evenari et al, 1958 ; Lowdermilk, 1954).

In these equations, the fluxes, pressures, densities, and permeabilities pertaining to the two fluids are considered simultaneously. The development of theory has been accompanied by experimental studies, first in the laboratory (Peck, 1965) and more lately in the field as well (Dixon and Linden, 1972). Κ. Some Topics of Current Research on Infiltration 39 Quite another topic of increasing contemporary interest is that of infiltration into swelling soils (also called expansive soils). Following the experimental work by Smiles and Rosenthal (1968), Philip (1969a, 1972) developed a comprehensive theory of hydrostatics and hydrodynamics in swelling soils.

The same authors also carried out extensive experiments on rain infiltration into laboratory columns and in the field. While the results appeared to corroborate theoretical predictions reasonably well for conditions of an undisturbed sod cover, problems were encountered with bare soils subject to crusting from raindrop impact. Further studies have been carried out by Mein and Larson (1973). , the excess of rainfall over infiltration) for different rain intensities. Still more comprehensive theoretical studies of rain infiltration a n d subsequent soil moisture storage for different soil textures and variously composed soil profiles were carried out by Hillel and van Bavel (1976) a n d by Hillel and Talpaz (1977).

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