Environmental Geology

, Volume 53, Issue 6, pp 1289–1298 | Cite as

Effects of poor quality irrigation waters on the nutrient leaching and groundwater quality from sandy soil

  • M. JalaliEmail author
  • H. Merrikhpour
Original Article


Sodium (Na+) in poor quality irrigation water participate in ion-exchange processes results in the displacement of base cations into solution and a raised concentration in groundwater. Knowledge of the rate of decrease of nutrients from soils resulting from poor water quality application is essential for long-term planning of crop production while minimizing the impact on groundwater quality. In this study, we examined the effect of sodium adsorption ratio (SAR) of irrigation water on nutrients leaching and groundwater quality in columns of sandy soil. Three types of irrigation waters at three NaCl–CaCl2 solutions with the following levels of SAR (5, 15, and 30) were synthesized in laboratory. With the application of solutions, exchange occurred between solution Na+ and exchangeable cations (Ca2+, Mg2+, and K+), resulting in the displacement of these cations and anions into solution. Increasing the level of SAR from 5 to 15 and 30 resulted in increase in the average exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP) of the soil from 10.4 to 20.3, and 32.5, respectively. Adverse effect of high Na+ concentration in the solutions on raising ESP was less pronounced in solution having low SAR. Leaching of Ca2+, Mg2+, K+, and P from soil with the application of solutions represents a significant loss of valuable nutrients. This sandy soil showed the high risk for nutrients transfer into groundwater in concentrations exceeding the groundwater quality standard. Irrigation with poor quality water, which is generally more sodic and saline than regional groundwater, increases the rate of sodification and salinization of shallow groundwater.


Sodification Exchangeable sodium percentage Irrigation Nutrient leaching 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Soil Science, College of AgricultureBu-Ali Sina UniversityHamadanIran

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