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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 3 No. 4, p. 311-316
    Received: Nov 2, 1972

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Minimizing the Salt Burdens of Irrigation Drainage Waters1

  1. J. D. Rhoades,
  2. J. D. Oster,
  3. R. D. Ingvalson,
  4. J. M. Tucker and
  5. M. Clark2



The salt burdens of percolated drainage waters resulting from the use of waters, synthesized to represent eight important river waters of the western USA, for irrigation of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) in a controlled lysimeter experiment, are presented. These data show that minimizing the quantity of drainage water resulted in the smallest possible return of applied salts in the return flow because: i) it maximizes the precipitation of carbonate minerals and gypsum in the soil, ii) it minimizes soil mineral weathering and the dissolution of salts previously deposited in the soil, and iii) it maximizes the amount of soluble salt diverted in the water that is retained in storage in the soil profile and not returned in the drainage water.

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