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Soil Salinity and Leaching

 Date: 2003
 Location: San Joaquin Valley, California
 Sponsors: California Department of Water Resources and Agricultural Research Initiative-California University System
 Reports Available:  ITRCReports No. R 03-003, R 03-004, and R 03-005


Salinity study

Drip-irrigated orchard

ITRC conducted a three-fold salinity study on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley in the summer of 2003.  The objectives of the three parts of the study were:


  • To identify if there was detrimental salinity buildup in the upper layers of soil caused by the usage of SDI on row crops, identify the extent of any detrimental salinity buildup, and identify successful and/or essential practices used by farmers who use SDI.  Report: R 03-004

  • To examine the long-term impact of drip and micro irrigation on salinity build-up in orchards, focusing on the salinity concentration pattern across a soil profile. The study assessed the current level of salinity accumulation in orchards irrigated with drip/micro systems and provided information to support recommendations on the most effective and efficient leaching techniques. Report: R 03-005

  • To conduct a reclamation leaching experiment in a pistachio orchard, in order to quantify the leaching water required to remove salts from the effective root zone of trees.  This experiment tested a new reclamation leaching technique - multiple lines of low-flow drip tape were used to apply water to the area of salinity accumulation along a tree row.  Report: R 03-003