Saline water is a major resource for agricultural irrigation in arid-semi arid regions, especially when it is combined with drip irrigation. However, highly saline water can easily cause clogging of the emitters in drip irrigation systems, adversely affecting crop growth. Hence, a 2a processing tomatoes drip irrigation study was conducted in Hetao irrigation district. The chemical clogging of the emitters was analyzed using four drip irrigation models: RI1 (all fresh water irrigation), RI2 (saline water use in the flowering stage, fresh water in the fruiting stage), RI3 (fresh water use in the flowering stage, saline water in the fruiting stage), and RI4 (all saline water irrigation). The results revealed that the discharge ratio variation (Dra) and the Christiansen uniformity coefficient (CU) of RI4 decreased to 74.0% and 70.9%, respectively, which is considered as a clogged condition with poor irrigation uniformity. When compared to the all saline water irrigation model, the Dra and CU of fresh-saline alternating irrigation models (RI2 and RI3) were higher by 12.16% and 18.05%, respectively. Additionally, the dry weight (DW) of emitters fouling was less than that of RI4 by 16.30%. The Dra and CU showed linear relationships (R2
> 0.79) for the different irrigation models. However, as the Dra declined, the more adverse influence on maintaining the high CU was found in RI4. Using irrigation models with alternating fresh-saline water were recommended to control chemical clogging in drip irrigation systems. Calcium carbonate (CaCO3
) was the dominant scale formed, which caused the emitters to clog when processing tomatoes were grown using a drip irrigation system with saline water.
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