Minimizing the Salt Burden of Irrigation Drainage Water in the Pecos Valley of New Mexico
Pecos River water is reported to be ideally suited for minimized leaching management. Results of this research appear to substantiate that claim. Reduced leaching is shown to reduce the volume of water required for irrigation and to reduce both the volume and salt burden of drainage. These reductions were effected without detrimentally affecting soil chemical and physical properties and without reducing crop yields. Further, soil and drainage water data appear to validate the applicability of the U. S. Salinity Lab’s chemical computer model to Pecos Valley conditions. Thus, the model can be used to make long term projects of actual field condition resulting from a minimized leaching program. Such projections suggest a tremendous potential for water savings by reducing leaching without serious effects on crop yields.