The blending of drainage with water of low electrical conductivity and the sequential reuse of the drainage water are innovative technologies to manage salts in agricultural drainage. Plants of Cucumis melo
were grown in coir grow bags, and Rosmarinus officinalis
and Cacti spp. were grown in pots with a mixture of sphagnum peat-moss and perlite. In order to assess the effect and evolution over time of these water treatments on plant growth and water management and removal of nutrients, three water treatments were applied over a period of eight weeks. These were: (1) standard nutrient solution; (2) blended water treatment (drainage water blended with water of low electrical conductivity (EC)) and (3) sequential reuse of drainage water treatment. During the experimental growing period, samples of water supplies and drainages generated in each water treatment were collected weekly and from these data water volume and nutrient loads were calculated. At the end of the experiment, leaf fresh weight of rosemary plants decreased under the fertigation with the blended and sequential reuse water treatments. Nevertheless, the application of blended and sequentially reused water allowed for the saving of significant amounts of water and nutrients in comparison to the standard nutrient solution treatment. Considering these advantages, we strongly recommend the setting-up of these water treatments in areas with water scarcity such as in the Mediterranean Basin.
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