Agroforestry as a Method of Salt and Selenium Management on Irrigated Land in the San Joaquin Valley

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by Rebecca F. Muñoz,
Vashek Cervinka,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: North American Water and Environment Congress & Destructive Water

Abstract: Since 1985, several San Joaquin Valley growers, with the support of State and federal agencies, have attempted to manage salt and selenium using agroforestry. Numerous studies and research have been conducted to better understand the various components of a complete salt and selenium management system (Cervinka et al., 1995). As agroforestry research has progressed, efforts have been made to select and propagate tree and halophyte plants that indicate salt, boron, and frost tolerance, as well as growth vigor. Preliminary project results demonstrate that after the water is reused two or three times in a properly managed cropping system, salt and selenium can be removed from a reduced volume of concentrated drainage water. The design of this system is based on the principle of increasing salt concentrations at each sequential step of water reuse. The final volume of water is discharged into a solar evaporator for salt crystallization and water evaporation. Future research associated with this project will focus on refining a salt balance and continuing to select tree and halophyte (salt-desiring plant) species with desirable characteristics. A selenium management model will be developed and wildlife issues will be monitored. In addition, a market value for the salt and selenium will continue to be explored.

Subject Headings: Salt water | Salts | Selenium | Agriculture | Systems management | Water discharge | Trees | Evaporation |

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