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Title Rainfall leaching is critical for long-term use of recycled water in the Salinas Valley
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In 1998, Monterey County Water Recycling Projects began delivering water to 12,000 acres in the northern Salinas Valley. Two years later, an ongoing study began assessing the effects of the recycled water on soil salinity. Eight sites are receiving recycled water and a control site is receiving only well water. In data collected from 2000 to 2012, soil salinity of the 36-inch-deep profile was on average approximately double that of the applied water, suggesting significant leaching from applied water (irrigation) or rainfall. In this study, we investigated some of the soil water hydrology factors possibly controlling the soil salinity results. Using soil water balance modeling, we found that rainfall had more effect on soil salinity than did leaching from irrigation. Increasing applied water usually only correlated significantly with soil salinity parameters in the shallow soil profile (1 to 12 inches depth) and at 24 to 36 inches at sites receiving fairly undiluted recycled water. Winter rains, though, had a critical effect. Increasing rainfall depths were significantly correlated with decreasing soil salinity of the shallow soil at all test sites, though this effect also diminished with increased soil depth. When applied water had high salinity levels, winter rainfall in this area was inadequate to prevent soil salinity from increasing.

Platts, Belinda E. : B.E. Platts is Agricultural Consultant, Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency (MRWPCA)
Grismer, Mark E
Professor   Agricultural Drainage Engineer-AES
Multiphase transport in porous media; soil salinity and drainage; water quality; constructed wetlands; and environmental ethics.
Publication Date Jul 1, 2014
Date Added Jul 11, 2014
Copyright © The Regents of the University of California
Copyright Year 2014

Leaching with recycled water correlated with increasing soil salinity in this study, whereas rainfall leaching decreased soil salinity.

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