Irrigation: Saline Water

Authored by: B.A. Stewart

Encyclopedia of Environmental Management

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  December  2012

Print ISBN: 9781439829271
eBook ISBN: 9781351235860
Adobe ISBN:


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As water becomes more limited, there is increasing use of saline waters for irrigation that were previously considered unsuitable. As salinity in the root zone increases, the osmotic potential of the soil solution decreases and therefore reduces the availability of water to plants. The extent that plant growth is affected by saline water is dependent on the crop species. Soils are also negatively impacted by salt, particularly sodium salts. Sodium ions tend to disperse clay particles and this has deleterious effects on infiltration rate, structure, and other soil physical properties.

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