Soil salinity is one of the major threats to agricultural productivity in many regions of the world. It affects the soil physio-chemical properties, which in turn determines the suitability of the soil for agricultural use. Soil salinization is increasing due to anthropogenic activities and long-term agricultural practices using marginal irrigation water in conjunction with drip irrigation, which was found to be unsustainable. Salinity and sodicity already existing in many soils of semi-arid and arid regions is further exacerbated by such practices. Hence developing a sustainable and economical reclamation regime for saline-sodic soil is essential, while considering the available irrigation water quality in these regions. The main objective of this study was to develop a viable reclamation strategy by using locally available water resources, like brackish water, treated wastewater, desalinated water, and distilled water as rain simulation, with/without soluble gypsum as an amendment. We used flow-through soil column experiments to study the cation transport and exchange in saline-sodic soil from Kibbutz Revivim (drip irrigated with brackish water for three decades) with four different water qualities and soluble gypsum. The results showed the effect of different water qualities and soluble gypsum on the saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) and dynamics of cation exchange and transport in the soil. The transport of the major cations Na+, Ca2+, Mg2+, K+, and the Ks of the soil will be presented and discussed.
Ms. Rashika Solomon
The Role of Irrigation Water Quality and Soluble Gypsum on Reclamation of Saline and Sodic Soil
Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel