Journal of the Department of Agriculture, Western Australia, Series 4


Irrigation water, Water quality

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Although irrigation and salinity problems are frequently inseperable, there is a range of management methods that can be used to handle marginal quality water. Freuently these methods are simple, but require careful planning.

The wide range in tolerance of crops to salinity can be exploiter to ensure that appropriate crops are selected for the water available.

Because crops vary in their sensitivity to salt uptake in the leaves or the roots, watering methods can be changed to avoid problems. For profitable production enough water should be applied to ensure adequate water is available for plant growth as well as to leach excess salt out of the root zone.

Even with good quality water salt problems will occur in areas with watertables close to the surface, so effective drainage is essential for healthy growth.

Appropriate crop selection, cultural methods and water management allow saline water to be used to produce profitable crops.