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Hydrochemical Characteristic of Groundwater and Its Impact on Crop Yields in the Baojixia Irrigation Area, China

by Wenwen Feng 1,2, Hui Qian 1,2,*, Panpan Xu 1,2 and Kai Hou 1,2
1
School of water and Environment, Chang’an University, Xi’an 710054, China
2
Key Laboratory of Subsurface Hydrology and Ecological Effect in Arid Region of Ministry of Education, Chang’an University, Xi’an 710054, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(5), 1443; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12051443
Received: 25 March 2020 / Revised: 6 May 2020 / Accepted: 8 May 2020 / Published: 19 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geochemistry of Groundwater)
While irrigated crops produce much higher yields than rain-fed crops, the ionic components of irrigation water have important effects on crop yield. Groundwater is widely used for irrigation in the Baojixia irrigation area in China. The chemical characteristics and water quality of groundwater in the Baojixia irrigation area were analyzed and evaluated to study the impact of groundwater quality on crop yield. Results showed cations in the groundwater to mainly be Na+, Ca2+, and Mg2+, whereas the anions are mainly HCO3, SO42−, and Cl. Water-rock interaction and cation exchange were identified as the main factors affecting hydrogeochemical properties from west to east. The study found salinity and alkalinity of groundwater in the western region of the study area to be low, and therefore suitable for irrigation. Groundwater in the eastern part of the study area was found to have a medium to high salinity and alkalinity, and is therefore not recommended for long-term irrigation. The groundwater irrigated cultivation of wheat and corn in the research area over 2019, for example, would have resulted in a drop in the annual crop output and an economic loss of 0.489 tons and 0.741 × 104 yuan, respectively. Irrigation using groundwater was calculated to result in the cumulative loss of crop yields and an economic loss of 49.17 tons and 80.781 × 104 yuan, respectively, by 2119. Deterioration of groundwater quality will reduce crop yields. It is recommended that crop yields in the study area be increased by strengthening irrigation water management and improving groundwater quality. View Full-Text
Keywords: irrigation quality; hydrogeochemical; sodium absorption ratio (SAR); crop yield; food security irrigation quality; hydrogeochemical; sodium absorption ratio (SAR); crop yield; food security
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Feng, W.; Qian, H.; Xu, P.; Hou, K. Hydrochemical Characteristic of Groundwater and Its Impact on Crop Yields in the Baojixia Irrigation Area, China. Water 2020, 12, 1443.

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