An Irrigation Scheduling Protocol for Treated Industrial Effluent in the Chihuahuan Desert (PDF)
- Author(s): Ruiz, Alejandro; Sammis, Theodore W.; Picchioni, Geno A.; Mexal, John G.; Mackay, Wayne A.
- Publications: Journal - American Water Works Association
- Issue Date: February 2006
- Volume / Number: 98, Number 2
- Page(s): 122-133
- Product Number: JAW_0062636
Non-Member Price: $30
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As the population of southwestern New Mexico expands, land
application of industrial and municipal wastewater is increasingly
seen as a cost-effective and environmentally safe water management
technique. Yet virtually no management guidelines exist for
scheduling land application of wastewater in semi-arid climates
of the United States.
This article describes a web-based methodology for scheduling
wastewater irrigation in the Chihuahuan Desert. It also details
how to input data that are specific to the region and climate into a
spreadsheet program to schedule wastewater irrigation at rates
that avoid adverse effects to the application site. A website helps
utility managers outside of New Mexico use the methodology. An
irrigation schedule created by this technique was tested over
three years in Las Cruces, N.M. The land application was
designed to maximize vegetative cover to increase the capacity of
a site to serve as a sink for wastewater contaminants, minimize
salt accumulation in the root zone, and avoid nitrate leaching into
the groundwater. The step-by-step instructions provided here help
utilities eliminate the guesswork of how much and when to apply
water in a land application process.
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