Catalog Record

Data and Report from S&T Project 1780: Determining Impacts of Long-Term Use of Reverse Osmosis Concentrate as Drip Irrigation Water Source on Atriplex species, Soil Characteristics and Microbial Communities

Drought in the Western U.S. has increased interest in non-traditional irrigation sources such as brackish groundwater. RO can be used to reduce salinity but can pose disposal issues for saline concentrates. A potential safe and beneficial use of saline concentrate is irrigation of halophytic species for livestock fodder. Objectives were to determine the impacts of brackish irrigation water on soil chemical properties, soil microbial communities, and plant germination/growth. Field studies included Atriplex plantings irrigated at different salinity concentrations. Soils were analyzed for EC, ion concentration, pH, and carbon/nitrogen. Next-Generation Sequencing was conducted to assess soil microbial communities. Greenhouse studies involved planting 2 species of Atriplex in clay or sand soils irrigated with water at various salinities. Plants were measured for germination, height, IR, and SPAD. Soil EC increased with distance from the irrigation emitter. Ion concentrations, pH and carbon/nitrogen ratios varied; soil microbe communities shifted but were not statistically significantly. Germination was significant by species, soil type, and irrigation treatment. Higher salinities did not significantly affect plant height or SPAD, but significantly increased IR. Further studies are needed to develop a better understanding and management practices for safe and effective use of saline concentrate to grow halophytes for livestock fodder.
Generation Effort S&T Project 1780: Determining Impacts of Long-Term Use of Reverse Osmosis Concentrate as Drip Irrigation Water Source on Atriplex species, Soil Characteristics and Microbial Communities
Themes Water Quality, Biological
Tags Irrigation, Reverse Osmosis, Saline Concentrate, Soil Chemistry, Soil Microbes, Plant Growth
Reclamation Project
Reclamation Program Science and Technology Program

Location Information

Location Description
Location Tags Rio Grande River Basin
Location Parent
State(s) New Mexico
Unified Region(s) Upper Colorado Basin
Timezone MT
Elevation 4,279 ft
Vertical Datum EGM96
Coordinates (lat, long) See Location Details
Horizontal Datum WGS84