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There is no single set of water quality criteria for supplemental irrigation water because of the interactive effects of the many variables involved. These include the chemical and physical characteristics of the soil, the physiological characteristics of the plant, and climatological conditions. Detrimental effects of poor water quality on plant growth result from salinity, presence of toxic elements, and indirect effects on soil properties. Problems vary depending on whether brackish water (contaminated by sea water) is used, or effluents from industrial plants. Criteria will differ depending upon whether irrigation is used for crop production or land disposal of effluents.
water, water quality, irrigation, salinity, toxicity, effluents, criteria, soils, plant growth, farm crops
Chief, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, Md.