Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date



Irrigation, conductivity, hydrogen ion concentration, saline water, saline soils, salinity, salts, soil physical properties, sodium, sodium chloride, water quality


Interest in the use of Arkansas River water for irrigation has increased recently as land adjacent to the river is converted to crop production and river water is considered as an alternative to depleted underground supplies. Since the Arkansas River can contain elevated concentrations of sodium chloride, this study was designed to determine if soil conditions adverse to crop growth were developing where river water has been used. The impact of river water on sites where river water was used as either the sole source for up to 3 years or as a supplement to another surface source for up to 20 years was evaluated. The mean surface and profile ESPs were both 3.7%, while parallel ECs for 1:2 soil:, water extract were 183 and 163 umhos/cm, respectively. Mean surface and profile chloride concentrations were 32 and 50 ug/g, respectively. Mean saturated hydraulic conductivities were 0.015 cm/hr for the surface soil. No data were obtained which suggested that the use of the Arkansas River under the conditions described above was detrimental to soil physical or chemical properties. Periodic reevaluation of this conclusion is suggested at sites where direct use of Arkansas River water continues for an extended period of time.

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