Water reuse for irrigated agriculture in Jordan: challenges of soil sustainability and the role of management strategies
Carr, G., Nortcliff, S. and Potter, R. B. (2010) Water reuse for irrigated agriculture in Jordan: challenges of soil sustainability and the role of management strategies. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 368 (1931). pp. 5315-5321. ISSN 1364-503X
To link to this item DOI: 10.1098/rsta.2010.0181
Reclaimed water provides an important contribution to the water balance in water-scarce Jordan, but the quality of this water presents both benefits and challenges. Careful management of reclaimed water is required to maximize the nutrient benefits while minimizing the salinity risks. This work uses a multi-disciplinary research approach to show that soil response to irrigation with reclaimed water is a function of the management strategies adopted on the farm by the water user. The adoption of management methods to maintain soil productivity can be seen to be a result of farmers’ awareness to potentially plant-toxic ions in the irrigation water (70% of Jordan Valley farmers identified salinization as a hazard from irrigation with reclaimed water). However, the work also suggests that farmers’ management capacity is affected by the institutional management of water. About a third (35%) of farmers in the Jordan Valley claimed that their ability to manage salinization was limited by water shortages. Organizational interviews revealed that institutional awareness of soil management challenges was quite high (34% of interviewees described salinization as a risk from water reuse), but strategies to address this challenge at the institutional level require greater development.