Irrigation and Drainage

Oral

395767 - Challenges and Considerations For Using Municipal Reclaimed Water for Agricultural Irrigation

Wednesday, June 6
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: Skyway Room
Co-Authors: Kyle Feist, San Luis Obispo, CA – Cal Poly Irrigation Training and Research Center; Charles Burt, San Luis Obispo, CA – Cal Poly Irrigation Training and Research Center

Secondary and tertiary treated municipal wastewater has been used to irrigate alfalfa and grains on approximately 4,000 acres in Southern California via center pivots. In addition to coordinating fluctuating treated water supply and crop demands, this program has focused on balancing two competing goals: (a) maximizing crop yield and (b) maintaining compliance with relatively strict environmental discharge permit requirements that limit the transport of nutrients, such as nitrates, past the root zone. For example, minimizing nitrate movement through precise irrigation promotes salts accumulation in the root zone. Subsequently, crop yield and nutrient uptake rates are impacted. In that context a combination of good management strategies, excellent irrigation hardware, and the selective use of technology have proven to be essential tools for success. This paper will detail some of the short and long-term challenges of managing soil health and crop production under local regulatory obligations.

Franklin Gaudi

Project Manager
Cal Poly Irrigation Training and Research Center

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