Arid Land Irrigation in Developing Countries. Environmental by Barton E. Worthington

By Barton E. Worthington

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R. (Kovda) and India (Bhumbla, p. 283). Waterlogging, salinization and alkalinization Soil deterioration occurs widely due to the very low efficiency of the majority of irriga­ tion systems which average only up to 30-50 percent. Enormous water losses result from infiltration from the canals (up to 40-45 percent of the water intake), and on fields flooded with surplus water. But the danger of waterlogging of irrigated land persists even when improved technology and better equipment are applied in the irrigation systems.

To combat soil deterioration successfully under continuous irrigation, and make the irrigation systems profitable and effective, requires applying known preventive and ameliorative measures and this calls for overcoming the existing obstacles. Highly sophisti­ cated knowledge and technology are available. How to utilize this knowledge is the most important question to be answered. Estimates of extent, severity and rates of soil modification According to El Gabaly (p. 239), salinity and waterlogging are common problems in the countries of the Near East Region.

However, they can alter the ecology of aquatic ecosystems sufficiently to destroy populations of animals associated with plants. Fertilizers have a different and more positive impact on plant growth. The discharge of wastes from fertilizers and other nutrients into rivers and reservoirs is known to cause explosive growth of algae and weeds. Nitrates and phosphates are active ingredients in fertilizer formulations, and excesses of those elements transported in surface runoff enrich fertility of irrigation waters, and together with other elements in proportions and associa­ tions which are still unclear, they create eutrophic environments.

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