Demonstration of Irrigation Return Flow Water Quality in the Mesilla Valley, New Mexico
The general objective of this project was to demonstrate the feasibility of alternative water management practices on the quality of drainage return flow and soil salinity in the Mesilla Valley, New Mexico. The project consisted of a 450-acre demonstration farm having a combination of present day irrigation technology used to show how, through modern water management, the return flow quality and quantity can be improved.
The results of this study indicated that by using irrigation scheduling, farm irrigation efficiency can be increased 13 to 23 percent. However, field irrigation efficiency was found to vary from 80 percent down to 35 percent regardless of type of crop or field size. Trickle irrigation on a 1.3 hectare pecan orchard resulted in irrigation efficiencies near 100 percent with apparent above average yields.