Potential Business Opportunities from Saline Water and Salt-affected Land Resources

Qadir, Manzoor, Noble, Andrew D., Karajeh, Fawzi and Biju, George (2015). Potential Business Opportunities from Saline Water and Salt-affected Land Resources. Resource Recovery & Reuse. CGIAR.

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  • Author Qadir, Manzoor
    Noble, Andrew D.
    Karajeh, Fawzi
    Biju, George
    Title Potential Business Opportunities from Saline Water and Salt-affected Land Resources
    Series Title Resource Recovery & Reuse
    Volume/Issue No. 5
    Publication Date 2015
    Place of Publication Battaramulla
    Publisher CGIAR
    Pages 21
    Language eng
    Abstract Saline water and salt-affected lands are generally considered to suffer from low agricultural productivity and significant environmental constraints. In contrast, recent evidence suggests that by practicing saline water recycling and reuse until it becomes unusable for any economic activity and returning salt-affected irrigated areas to a higher level of production, a significant contribution to food, feed and renewable energy production could be achieved without expanding the production area along with the associated challenges. This report delivers four case studies on saline water recycling and reuse with examples from developed and developing countries: (1) concentration of salts in a sequential manner for effective management of saline drainage water combined with income-generating crops and aquaculture as well as potable water and industrial salt production; (2) production of decentralized and renewable energy by using microhydro-turbines along the natural flow of saline water in drainage water collector networks; (3) profitable horticulture by harnessing solar energy for seawater desalination to produce freshwater for greenhouse irrigation; and (4) large-scale drainage water reuse in the Nile Delta with mixed benefits, challenges and opportunities. Concomitantly, the following examples are given on reversing and restoring salt-affected irrigated land: (1) use of phosphogypsum to mitigate magnesium effects in magnesium-affected lands and to enhance crop productivity; (2) phytoremediation of highly saline abandoned lands by growing salt-tolerant shrubs; (3) plantation of multipurpose salt-tolerant tree species on salt-affected wastelands for biomass and bioenergy production; and (4) large-scale amelioration of sodic soils by gypsum application supported by a number of coordinated actions involving relevant stakeholders. These examples vividly suggest that strategic investments in salt-affected irrigated zones can make a significant contribution to poverty reduction, generate additional economic benefits and ensure equitable social development by benefitting the smallholders and marginalized groups, among others. There is a need for a paradigm shift towards reuse rather than disposal of saline water and restoration of salt-affected soils rather than their retirement. In doing so, there are additional gains in the form of regenerating degraded agricultural ecosystems and mitigating climate change impacts through enhanced soil carbon sequestration and ensured food security without significant lateral expansion of agricultural area.
    Copyright Holder CGIAR Research Program on Water, International Water Management Institute
    Copyright Year 2015
    Copyright type Creative commons
    ISBN 9789290908166
    DOI 10.5337/2015.206
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    Created: Sat, 18 Jun 2016, 02:11:33 JST by Anderson, Kelsey on behalf of UNU INWEH