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Article

Modelling Salinity and Sodicity Risks of Long-Term Use of Recycled Water for Irrigation of Horticultural Crops

1
South Australian Research and Development Institute, GPO Box 397, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia
2
Faculty of Sciences, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, University of Adelaide, PMB 1, Glen Osmond, SA 5064, Australia
3
CSIRO Land and Water, PMB 2, Glen Osmond, SA 5064, Australia
4
Department of Environmental Sciences, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA
5
School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Thomas Baumgartl and Mandana Shaygan
Soil Syst. 2021, 5(3), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/soilsystems5030049
Received: 7 June 2021 / Revised: 26 July 2021 / Accepted: 18 August 2021 / Published: 21 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Prediction and Remediation of Soil Salinization)
Long-term use of recycled water (RW) for irrigation in arid and semiarid regions usually changes the soil solution composition and soil exchange characteristics, enhancing the risk for salinity and sodicity hazards in soils. This modelling study focuses on developing alternative management options that can reduce the potentially harmful impacts of RW use on the irrigation of wine grapes and almonds. The multicomponent UNSATCHEM add-on module for HYDRUS-1D was used to evaluate the impact of long-term (2018–2050) use of irrigation waters of different compositions: good-quality low-salinity (175 mg/L) water (GW), recycled water with 1200 mg/L salinity (RW), blended water of GW and RW in the 1:1 proportion (B), and monthly (Alt1) and half-yearly (Alt6) alternate use of GW and RW. The management options include different levels of annual gypsum applications (0, 1.7, 4.3, and 8.6 t/ha soil) to the calcareous (Cal) and hard red-brown (HRB) soils occurring in the Northern Adelaide Plain (NAP) region, South Australia. Additional management scenarios involve considering different leaching fractions (LF) (0.2, 0.3, 0.4, and 0.5) to reduce the salinity build-up in the soil. A new routine in UNSATCHEM to simulate annual gypsum applications was developed and tested for its applicability for ameliorating irrigation-induced soil sodicity. The 1970–2017 period with GW irrigation was used as a warmup period for the model. The water quality was switched from 2018 onwards to reflect different irrigation water qualities, gypsum applications, and LF levels. The data showed that the GW, B, Alt1, and Alt6 irrigation scenarios resulted in lower soil solution salinity (ECsw) than the RW irrigation scenario, which led to increased ECsw values (4.1–6.6 dS/m) in the soil. Annual gypsum applications of 1.7, 4.3, and 8.6 t/ha reduced pH, SAR, and ESP in both soils and reduced the adverse impacts of irrigation, especially in surface soils. A combination of water blending or cyclic water use with 3.8 t/ha annual gypsum applications showed promise for the SAR and ESP control. Additionally, irrigation with RW, a 0.2 LF, and annual gypsum applications limited the harmful salinity impacts in the soils. However, in the RW irrigation scenario, ECsw and ESP at the bottom of the crop root zone (90–120 cm depth) in the HRB soil were still higher than the wine grape and almond salinity thresholds. Thus, annual amendment applications, combined with the long-term use of blended water or cyclic use of RW and GW, represent a sustainable management option for crop production at the calcareous and hard red-brown soils. View Full-Text
Keywords: recycled water; UNSATCHEM; gypsum; leaching fraction; calcareous soils; hard red-brown soils; climate change recycled water; UNSATCHEM; gypsum; leaching fraction; calcareous soils; hard red-brown soils; climate change
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MDPI and ACS Style

Phogat, V.; Mallants, D.; Šimůnek, J.; Cox, J.W.; Petrie, P.R.; Pitt, T. Modelling Salinity and Sodicity Risks of Long-Term Use of Recycled Water for Irrigation of Horticultural Crops. Soil Syst. 2021, 5, 49. https://doi.org/10.3390/soilsystems5030049

AMA Style

Phogat V, Mallants D, Šimůnek J, Cox JW, Petrie PR, Pitt T. Modelling Salinity and Sodicity Risks of Long-Term Use of Recycled Water for Irrigation of Horticultural Crops. Soil Systems. 2021; 5(3):49. https://doi.org/10.3390/soilsystems5030049

Chicago/Turabian Style

Phogat, Vinod, Dirk Mallants, Jirka Šimůnek, James W. Cox, Paul R. Petrie, and Timothy Pitt. 2021. "Modelling Salinity and Sodicity Risks of Long-Term Use of Recycled Water for Irrigation of Horticultural Crops" Soil Systems 5, no. 3: 49. https://doi.org/10.3390/soilsystems5030049

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