Blending Saline and Non-Saline Waters Reduces Water Usable for Crop Production

by J. D. Rhoades, U.S. Salinity Lab, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Irrigation and Drainage


The purpose of this paper is to provide theoretical and conceptual evidence to show that water quality protection programs which dispose of agricultural drainage waters through blending practices do not protect the usability of water suppliers for general crop use. Alternative approaches for dealing with the 'disposal' of saline agricultural drainage waters should be sought that provide a greater practical benefit from the total water supply than does blending. A series of case examples are given to illustrate the concepts. The results of the case examples also illustrate how one can evaluate whether a saline water is suitable for irrigation, or not, and whether blending a saline water with 'good quality' water is likely to be detrimental, or not, with respect to reducing the volume of a fixed water supply that can be used for crop growth without loss in yield.

Subject Headings: Salt water | Water quality | Salinity | Crops | Water supply | Irrigation water | Case studies | Water use

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