Effect of restoring soil hydrological poperties on water conservation

D. Moore, S.J. Kostka, T.J. Boerth, M.A. Franklin, C.J. Ritsema, L.W. Dekker, K. Oostindie, C.R. Stoof, D.M. Park

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paperAcademic


Water repellency in soil is more wide spread than previously thought ¿ and has a significant impact on irrigation efficiency and water conservation. Soil water repellency has been identified in many soil types under a wide array of climatic conditions world wide. Consequences include increased runoff and preferential flow, reduced irrigation efficiency, and increased requirement for water and other inputs. Various soil hydrological properties are changed by water repellency reducing the ability of the soil to function as expected. Water repellency also contributes significantly to suboptimal growing conditions and can increase potential for non-point source pollution. Research indicates that certain soil surfactants restore hydrological processes lost to water repellency in various soils. This results in significant water conservation possibilities through more efficient functioning of the soils. This work consolidates information on basic hydrological and soil system functions as they relate to efficient water use and water conservation ¿ and shows how they can be compromised by soil water repellency and restored through use of soil surfactants, ultimately allowing significant water conservation. The conclusion is that the hydrological properties of many soils can be changed by naturally occurring soil water repellency resulting in waste and over consumption of water; and that the use of certain soil surfactants correct these changes allowing very significant savings in water as well as other inputs.


ConferenceJoint annual meeting of the Geological Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Gulf Coast Association of Geological Soc.


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