Steady increases in agricultural irrigation raise concerns about environmental impacts. Rice producing regions face declining irrigation groundwater and have started reusing irrigation water as a substitute. The goal of this project was to determine if reused irrigation water is potentially toxic compared to conventional well irrigation water. Reused and well water samples, collected from three Arkansas rice farms at field inlets and outlets on three dates corresponding to fertilizer/chemical applications or crop management, were used in acute 48-h (Pimephales promelas) and chronic (Ceriodaphnia dubia) toxicity evaluations. Acute toxicity tests indicated no effects on P. promelas. Fecundity of C. dubia was significantly increased in the reused water inlet and in both the reused and well water rice field outlets compared to well water inlets and laboratory reference water. This study suggests that, compared to well water, reused rice irrigation water has reduced potential for significant negative environmental impact on biota in receiving waters.
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The authors thank H. Carter, C Milam, and the rest of the staff at the A-State Ecotoxicology Research Facility for their vital assistance. The cooperation of rice farmers C. Hubbard, B. Huber, and B. Walls is gratefully acknowledged. The Arkansas Water Resources Laboratory provided funding and analysis of water samples.
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Grippo, R.S., McNeely, V.M. & Farris, J.L. Unexpected Increases in Fecundity of Ceriodaphnia dubia Exposed to Reused Rice Irrigation Water. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 96, 720–724 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-016-1818-3
- Reused irrigation water
- Aquatic toxicity