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Land improvement or land amelioration refers to investments making land more usable by humans. In terms of accounting, land improvements refer to any variety of projects that increase the value of the property. Most are depreciable, but some land improvements are not able to be depreciated because a useful life cannot be determined.
Land Improvement History
- Home building and containment were two of the most historical common improvements.
Home building pertains to anything from a house made of all stone, or a shack made of sticks. Containment consists of items such as walls, fences, roads, paths and gates.
Agricultural land improvement
In terms of agriculture, amelioration includes:
- Hydrological improvement (Land levelling, drainage, irrigation, leaching of saline soils, landslide and flood control)
- Soil improvement (fertilization, establishment of proper chemical balance).
- Soil stabilization/erosion control
- Road construction
- Afforestation, as a means for both water conservation and land protection against wind erosion (shelterbelts)
Uncontrolled use of the land may damage the soil, requiring measures for combatting soil degradation, such as:
- Combating desertification;
- Decontamination of polluted land;
- Land rehabilitation after industrial or mining usage;
Preventing the Destruction of Habitats
- Putting up fences, paths and/or gates, providing a path for animals.
- Soil conservation efforts and keeping certain green land untouched to avoid negative impacts on wildlife.
- Building canals, drains or any diversion project may be used to make unusable land suitable for human activities.
- Bridging over dry washes to avoid any type of flooding or road washouts.
Urban land improvement
In an urban context, land improvements include:
- Clearing, terracing or leveling of the land;
- Access roads, walkways and parking lots;
- Fences and hedges;
- Service connections to municipal services and public utilities;
- Drainage and irrigation systems;
- External lighting;
- Catastrophic buildup of soil salts and solonchak formation, e.g., in Central Asia, as a consequence of irrigation by saline groundwater.
- Desertification, soil erosion and ecological shifts due to drainage.
- Land reclamation
- Land rehabilitation
- Land levelling
- Watertable control
- Subsurface drainage
- Soil salinity control
- Improvement of waterlogged and saline soils, provides free downloads of software and articles on land drainage.