Impact of water quality, cultivation, and cropping systems on infiltration and physical properties of an arid clay soil

https://doi.org/10.17221/20/2013-SWRCitation:Gharaibeh M.A., Eltaif N.I. (2014): Impact of water quality, cultivation, and cropping systems on infiltration and physical properties of an arid clay soil. Soil & Water Res., 9: 127-134.
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Irrigation with treated wastewater is essential for increasing crop production in arid and semi arid regions. Field experiments were conducted on rainfed clayey soil to investigate the impact of water quality, cultivation, and different cropping systems on cumulative infiltration (F(t)), field saturated hydraulic conductivity (HCfs), penetration resistance (PR), and water stable aggregates (WSA). Treatments were: (1) barley fields tilled for the past 20 years (CB-T), (2) olive tree fields tilled for the past 20 years (CO-T), (3) non-cultivated field for 20 years, tilled for the last 2 years (NC-T2yr), and (4) non-cultivated non-tilled field (NC-NT) for the past 20 years (control). Results indicated that F(t), HCfs, PR, and WSA in NC-NT were significantly higher than in all other treatments. Compared to fresh water (FW), treated wastewater (TWW) significantly reduced F(t) and HCfs in all treatments. This study showed that irrigation with TWW and protection of soil from any physical manipulation improved soil hydraulic and physical properties to acceptable levels. Therefore, application of such practices could be recommended in arid clayey soils.
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