Papers > Managing Irrigation with Reclaimed Water
Case Study: Managing Center Pivot Irrigation Using Municipal Reclaimed Water
Secondary and tertiary treated municipal wastewater has been used to irrigate alfalfa and grains on approximately 4,000 acres in Southern California via center pivots. In addition to coordinating fluctuating treated water supply and crop demands, this program has focused on balancing two competing goals: (a) maximizing crop yield and (b) maintaining compliance with relatively strict environmental discharge permit requirements that limit the transport of nutrients, such as nitrates, past the root zone. For example, minimizing nitrate movement through precise irrigation promotes salts accumulation in the root zone. Subsequently, crop yield and nutrient uptake rates are impacted. In that context a combination of good management strategies, excellent irrigation hardware, and the selective use of technology have proven to be essential tools for success. This paper will detail some of the short and long-term challenges of managing soil health and crop production under local regulatory obligations.
Gaudi, F., K. Feist, and C.M. Burt. 2018. Case Study: Managing Center Pivot Irrigation Using Municipal Reclaimed Water. Proceedings of World Environmental and Water Resources Congress. June 3-7, 2018. Minneapolis, MN. pp. 36-49.
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