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Irrigation Water Quality - What are your most common issues?

I am a graduate student researcher at University of Florida writing an ECHO Tech Note on managing irrigation water quality for agriculture (for example, pH of irrigation water).

What are common irrigation water quality issues and questions you have that could be addressed in this Tech Note?


Hi Susan,

Irrigation water quality problems are typically pH, nitrates, and salinity. Proper filtration and fertilizer injection/mixing into irrigation water (fertigation) is also important, yet sometimes overlooked. Helping growers of any size think about the implications of the long-term use of low quality irrigation water on soils and plants are also important for changing grower habits (for instance, the generally good practice of leaching soils as a method to reduce salt build up in the soil).

I hope this helps.

Dr. Jonathan Teichroew, PhD
Avocado and Pecan Tree Nursery Specialist

This study aimed at assessing the quality of irrigation water sourced from River Galma to irrigate farmlands in Zaria,
located between latitudes 11 o 00’ to 11 o 12’N and longitude 07 o 36’ to 07 o 45’E. Irrigation water samples from River Galma used to irrigate the fadama land were
collected from five different points for three consecutive times at the very points where the farmers use the water to irrigate their farms and tested for
the following selected metals:
chromium (Cr), lead (Pb), nickel (Ni), and arsenic (As). X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) spectroscopy which is an analytical technique was used to determine the metal
contents of water samples. Analysis of variance was used to compare the result at 0.01 significant level. The results show the concentration of Cr, Pb, Ni and As as;
0.09, 0.04, 0.04 and 0.03mg/l respectively. Although Cr has the highest mean value and is significantly differentiated at the five sampling locations over
the basin, the mean value is below the permissible limit for irrigation water by Nigeria’s Federal Environmental Protection Agency concentration of the selected
metals was found to be tolerable for irrigation purpose. The study thus recommended that the quality of irrigation water should be investigated from time to time to a
void build-up of heavy metal that may be detrimental to health of both human and animal in the long run