Optimisation of water quality for sustainable irrigation with coal seam gas produced water

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Mallants, Dirk; Simunek, Jirka; Torkzaban, Saeed


2015-12-27


Report


53


Prior to use of coal seam gas produced water for irrigation purposes, an in-depth assessment has to be undertaken of the potential long-term effects of dissolved ions on soil and plant health. We here simulate coupled processes of variably-saturated water flow, plant water uptake and coupled transport of multiple major ions in soils irrigated with produced water featuring different water qualities. By coupling major ion soil chemistry to unsaturated flow and plant water uptake, and by explicitly incorporating effects of salt concentrations on soil hydraulic properties and on root water uptake (so-called salinity stress), critical soil processes required for salinity risk assessment associated with coal seam gas produced water are effectively included in our analysis. Simulations with different irrigation water qualities provided detailed results regarding chemical indicators of soil and plant health, i.e. SAR, EC and sodium concentrations. By comparing such indicators in the soil profile with permissible ANZECC values, an assessment was made of the risk to soil and plant health. We also evaluated the effect of high salt concentrations in the soil profile on plant salinity stress, a condition which reduces the capacity for plants to uptake water causing yield reduction. Finally, the simulations also allowed to test if soil hydraulic properties, in particular the hydraulic conductivity, are negatively impacted by high salt concentrations, especially by the accumulation of the monovalent cations sodium and potassium.


CSIRO Land and Water


Adelaide


coal seam gas produced water; beneficial use; irrigation; major ion chemistry; soil hydrology; salinity; sodium adsorption ratio; soil water balance; salinity stress


Environmental Impact Assessment; Natural Resource Management; Soil Physics ; Soil Chemistry (excl. Carbon Sequestration Science); Agricultural Hydrology (Drainage, Flooding, Irrigation, Quality, etc.); Geochemistry not elsewhere classified


© 2015 CSIRO.


EP16125


Technical Report (Author)


English


Mallants, Dirk; Simunek, Jirka; Torkzaban, Saeed. Optimisation of water quality for sustainable irrigation with coal seam gas produced water. Adelaide: CSIRO Land and Water; 2015.http://hdl.handle.net/102.100.100/91107?index=1



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