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Irrigation Science

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 25–33 | Cite as

Conjunctive use of saline and non-saline irrigation waters in semi-arid regions

  • D. P. Sharma
  • K. V. G. K. Rao
  • K. N. Singh
  • P. S. Kumbhare
  • R. J. Oosterbaan
Original Paper

Abstract

In arid and semi-arid regions, effluent from sub-surface drainage systems is often saline and during the dry season its disposal poses an environmental problem. A field experiment was conducted from 1989 to 1992 using saline drainage water (EC=10.5–15.0 dS/m) together with fresh canal water (EC=0.4 dS/m) for irrigation during the dry winter season. The aim was to find if crop production would still be feasible and soil salinity would not be increased unacceptably by this practice. The experimental crops were a winter crop, wheat, and pearl-millet and sorghum, the rainy season crops, grown on a sandy loam soil. All crops were given a pre-plant irrigation with fresh canal water. Subsequently, the wheat crop was irrigated four times with different sequences of saline drainage water and canal water. The rainy season crops received no further irrigation as they were rainfed. Taking the wheat yield obtained with fresh canal water as the potential value (100%), the mean relative yield of wheat irrigated with only saline drainage water was 74%. Substitution of canal water at first post-plant irrigation and applying thereafter only saline drainage water, increased the yield to 84%. Cyclic irrigations with canal and drainage water in different treatments resulted in yields of 88% to 94% of the potential. Pearl-millet and sorghum yields decreased significantly where 3 or 4 post-plant irrigations were applied with saline drainage water to previous wheat crop, but cyclic irrigations did not cause yield reduction. The high salinity and sodicity of the drainage water increased the soil salinity and sodicity in the soil profile during the winter season, but these hazards were eliminated by the sub-surface drainage system during the ensuing monsoon periods. The results obtained provide a promising option for the use of poor quality drainage water in conjunction with fresh canal water without undue yield reduction and soil degradation. This will save the scarce canal water, reduce the drainage water disposal needs and associated environmental problems.

Keywords

Soil Salinity Drainage Water Wheat Crop Sandy Loam Soil Canal Water 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. P. Sharma
    • 1
  • K. V. G. K. Rao
    • 1
  • K. N. Singh
    • 1
  • P. S. Kumbhare
    • 1
  • R. J. Oosterbaan
    • 2
  1. 1.Central Soil Salinity Research InstituteKarnal-132001 HaryanaIndia
  2. 2.International Institute for Land Reclamation and ImprovementWageningenThe Netherlands

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