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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

Salt Pickup from Agricultural Lands in the Grand Valley of Colorado1


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 2 No. 3, p. 377-382
    Received: Sept 14, 1972

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  1. Gaylord V. Skogerboe and
  2. Wynn R. Walker2



Introduction of seepage and deep percolation losses to the saline soils and aquifers, and the eventual return of these flows to the river system with their large salt loads, make the Grand Valley in Colorado one of the more significant salinity sources in the Upper Colorado River Basin. A study was formulated in which the principle components of both the water and salt flow systems were delineated. Water and salt budgets were generated on a monthly basis for the water years 1969–1971.

The salt budgets for the 1971 water year have been abstracted from this study and presented herein to illustrate the salt pickup occurring in the Grand Valley area. Results indicate about 51,039 metric tons of dissolved solids being added from the small 1876 ha test area. This salt contribution of about 27.1 metric tons/ha is shown to be proportionate to the valley-wide pickup. From this analysis, it is concluded that salinity control alternatives must focus on reducing the flow of water in the ground-water system. Possible measures include conveyance channel linings and improved on-farm water management practices.

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