Treatment Of Produced Water To Meet Irrigation Standard

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1.1 General Background

Tomato (Lycopersicomesculentum) is an important vegetable crop in Nigeria. Large scale tomato production is found in the northern Guinea and Sudan Savannah zones of Nigeria where relatively high yield could be realized by planting during the dry season using irrigation method. Present world production of Tomato is about 100 million tons fresh fruit from 3.7 million ha (FAOSTAT, 2001). Depending on the variety, growing period of tomato is between 90 to 150 days. Optimum mean daily temperature for growth is 18 to 25oC with night temperature of 10 to 20oC. High humidity leads to greater incidence of pests and diseases and fruits rotting (FAO, 2013a). The presence of salts can drastically alter the morphological, physical, chemical and biological properties of the soil and impair its production (Brady and Weil, 1999). Under saline condition, nutrients toxicity and increasing osmotic pressure are common problems to plant (Bernstein, 1974). The adsorptionof sodium under sodic conditions usually manifests its destructive effects on the soil structure through reduced infiltration, permeability and increased surface crusting besides being toxic. Kijne and Kuper (1998) noted that the application of fertilizers and irrigation water continue to add salt to the system. A saline soil contains sufficient salt in the root zone that impair crop growth; saline soils hinder soil productivity by increasing the osmotic pressure in the soil making it more difficult for the crop to extract water needed for evapotraspiration, such soil has an electrical conductivity of the saturated extract exceeding

4 dSm-1 at 25oC and the exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP) of less than 15% (Richard, 1954). Also poor irrigation schedules can lead to the development of crop water deficit and result in reduced yield due to water and nutrients deficiency. Moreover, proper time of irrigation is essential to the production of quality of most vegetables. If water shortage occurs early in the crop development, maturity may be delayed which may reduce yields. The moisture shortage later in the growing season adversely affects the quality of produce even though total yields may not be affected.

The soil should be moist at the time of planting, the germination and initial growth stages, if necessary irrigation should take place to wet the soil during these periods. As the plant grows, moist soil is necessary for proper root development, as roots do not grow through a dry layer of soil. A dry layer results in a shallower rooting depth than desirable. Soil profile should be filled with water at each irrigation period. Shallow root systems result in plants being stressed even in short periods of water deficit (Stewart and Nelson, 1990). Early in the season when plants are small, it is beneficial to encourage roots to explore as much of the soil profile as possible. This maximizes nutrient uptake and maximize stress tolerance later in the season. The best approach to early season irrigation is to begin with a full soil profileand encourage deep rooting by not watering routinely, but rather waiting until the 20% depletion of available water is reached at the appropriate monitoring depth. Thismay take 5 to 7 days or longer between irrigation depending on the weather,the interval is less in a hot weather and the water stressed conditions encouragetomato to develop its root system at deeper soil layers which retained more water (Stewart, 1990).


1.2                                         Problem Statement

Several research works were conducted at Minjibir irrigation Scheme by IAR and other agencies aimed at improving of irrigation water as well as cropping systems in BarwaMinjibir Irrigation Scheme.The research work on salts problems in the scheme conducted by Malqwi et al., (2002) showed that the Barwa–Minjibirirrigation water is sodic and has caused sodicity problems in the soils resulting in surface crusting and poor structural stability. The exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP) in surface and subsurface soils had the average value of 56.92%. The irrigation water had Electrical Conductivity (ECe), sodium adsorption ratio (SAR) and adjusted SAR values of 0.65dS/m, 13.0; and 12.17 respectively. These values of ESP and SAR were found to be above FAO standards of irrigation water. Similarly, the soil has high residual sodium carbonate and contains both negative and positive saturated index (Malgwi et al., 2002).

1.3                             Aim and Objectives of the Study

The aim of this studyis to develop soil and water sodicity management strategies for optimum yield of irrigated tomato in Barwa-Minjibir irrigation scheme. The objectives are:

  1. To ascertain the current sodicity level of irrigation water in Minjibir irrigation


  1. To determine the effect of calcium sulphate (gypsum) on yield and yield components of irrigated tomato in Barwa-Minjibir Irrigation Scheme.
  2. To determine the effect of leaching requirement on yield and yield components of

Tomato grown under sodic soil condition at Minjibir Irrigation Scheme.


1.4                                          Justification

Minjibir irrigation scheme was put into use since 1976 in both dry and wet seasons and the dominant crops cultivated include tomatoes, onion and pepper. The studies conducted are mostly diagnostic and problems identification, there were no detail studies on water and soil management practices to address the sodicity problems. The essential work is to finding solution to the identified problems. Thus, finding remedy on the use of sodic water for irrigation in Barwa-Minjibir is a worthwhile effort as the scheme serves farmers and two research stations; International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and Institute of Agricultural Research Station (IAR), Ahmadu Bello University Zaria.


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