Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE credits
The impact of long term management strategies of irrigation with saline water in semi-arid region of Gordonia, South Africa is the highest interest to optimize water consumption, soil conservation, and crop yield for sustainable water allocations to human food production and ecosystem without irreversible damages to soil and water body.
An integrated ecosystem assimilation, in shape of soil-water storage model based on physical approach for 30-year simulation run defined in form of digital ecosystem modelling with help of CoupModel tool to assemble together the most important underlying processes of soil hydraulics, irrigation demands, leaching fraction, evapotranspiration, salt transport.
Two scenarios of water management strategy; surface as traditional and drip as subsurface irrigation considered to apply water and salt into the ecosystem model.
Gaining high food production for human with respect to ecosystem sustainability, in each water management scenario studied by evaluating general and detailed result from water and salt balance for the entire simulation period plus long term nitrogen and carbon turnover as crop yield indicator.
Non-productive water losses, salt accumulation in root zone, carbon and nitrogen turnover, salt transport to aquifer via deep percolation observed thoroughly. Decline in crop yield due to water and salt stress, conducted by monitoring biomass production with respect to water consumption and soil osmotic pressure in root zone.
Drip scenario had better functionality to perform less water wastage by decreasing soil evaporation as non-productive water loss almost 40 %, however productive water consumption decreased 20 % due to insufficient leaching fraction and also salt accumulation increased in root zone.
Precipitation had a significant role to accomplish leaching deficiency and removing salt from root zone.
Salt accumulation flushed out from root zone by more leaching, though resulting more water wastage and more possibility of salinization threatening beneath aquifer.
Ecosystem in terms of soil-water and plant responding differently facing salinity in different water management practices and salt as source of pollution could either stabilized in soil by accumulating in root zone causing anthropogenic soil desertification or percolate to beneath aquifer resulting aquifer salinization.
2012. , 56 p.
CoupModel; Drip and surface irrigation; Leaching fraction; Soil evaporation; Transpiration; Salinization