The paper is a part of a larger study of the basic hydrologic properties of peat. This part of the study deals with the hydraulic conductivity and water retention capacity of peat and with their dependence on some of its structural properties. The data of the study was collected in Central Finland (61°50'N; 24°20'E) from drained peatlands. The limits of the quantitative range of variation in the hydraulic conductivity of peat can be put at 2.0 x 10^{-6} and 1.1 x 1O^{-2} cm/sec. The variation occurring in the hydraulic conductivity of peat is extremely large. At saturation peat contains 82–95 volume per cent of water. The bulk density of peat seemed to be the factor best able to explain its water retention capacity. The quantity of water which can be removed from a site by draining decreases with increasing bulk density in such a way that it, in the case of well decomposed peat (bulk density 0.20 g/cm^{3}) is slightly less than one third of that for slightly decomposed peat (bulk density 0.05 g/cm^{3}). Also, the possibilities to estimate the quantities of water superfluous, available and unavailable to the plant cover is discussed.

The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.