Demonstration of Applications to control Waterlogging and Salinization
Water logging and salinization pose a threat to crop production in the Arkansas River Valley as well as to the much of the irrigated land in the western United States. This proposal is for collaboration with Colorado State University for the planning and development of a demonstration project which will implement and validate practical solutions to the Water logging and salinization problem in the lower Arkansas Valley based upon ongoing research.
Need and Benefit
Water logging and salinization are two of the most significant problems associated with irrigated agriculture including watersheds and irrigated areas of the Colorado River, the Arkansas River Valley, the South Platte River and many other watersheds in the western United States which include Reclamation Irrigation Projects. These two issues cause reduced productivity of lands, in some cases to the point of land retirement from irrigation, and often result in degradation of water supplies due to the concentration of salts in the water table and salt loading to receiving streams.
The principal investigators are currently collaborating with Colorado State University in a Research effort to define the causes and effects of the current status of salinlization and water table conditions in the Arkansas River Valley. A logical next step is to use the knowledge gained to identify and implement solutions on a demonstration basis to document their effectiveness in controlling the problem.
The Arkansas River contains increasing amounts of dissolved solids (salts) as it flows from Pueblo Colorado to the Kansas border from 300 mg/l at Pueblo to 4,000 mg/l at the Colorado Kansas border (period of data April 1990 through March 1993). The ongoing research will lead to more precise water applications for leaching and control of salinity and watertable levels. The result is increasing soil salinity and reductions in crop production.
One of Reclamation's mission goals is to manage, develop and protect water and related resources to meet the needs of current and future generations by increasing water use efficiency and water availability and protecting water quality. This proposed scooping and planning effort will ultimately result in a demonstration of potential solutions which can be evaluated as to their cost effectiveness in controlling water table and salinization concerns for improved water use efficiency and water quality.