University of California

A study of the effect of irrigation water composition on soil properties


K. L. Babcock
R. M. Carlson
R. K. Schulz
R. Overstreet

Authors Affiliations

K. L. Babcock was Assistant Professor of Soil Chemistry and Assistant Soil Chemist in the Experiment Station, Berkeley; R. M. Carlson was Senior Laboratory Technician in the Experiment Station, Berkeley; R. K. Schulz was Assistant Specialist in Soils and Plant Nutrition in the Experiment Station, Berkeley; R. Overstreet was Professor of Soil Chemistry and Soil Chemist in the Experiment Station, Berkeley.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 29(3):155-170. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v29n03p155. October 1959.

PDF of full article, Cite this article


Lysimeter experiments designed to study the quality of irrigation waters were initiated in 1953. The principal objective was to observe the effects of Na+ and HCO3- in the water on the chemical properties of the soil. After being cropped to alfalfa for four years, the soil was found to have significant salt gradients with depth. In many cases, there was an appreciable formation of exchangeable Na+, and “excess cation saturation” had been induced. Extensive chemical analyses are reported.

Literature Cited

Bower C. A., Truog E. Base exchange capacity determination as influenced by the nature of cation employed and formation of basic exchange salts. Soil Sci. Soc. Amer. Proc. 1940. 5:86-89. DOI: 10.2136/sssaj1941.036159950005000C0016x [CrossRef]

Eaton F. M. Significance of carbonates in irrigation waters. Soil Sci. 1950. 69:123-33. DOI: 10.1097/00010694-195002000-00004 [CrossRef]

Harding R. B., Pratt P. F., Jones W. W. Changes in salinity, nitrogen, and soil reaction in a differentially fertilized irrigated soil. Soil Sci. 1958. 85:177-84. DOI: 10.1097/00010694-195804000-00001 [CrossRef]

Harned H. S., Owen B. B. The physical chemistry of electrolytic solutions. 1950. 2d ed. New York: Reinhold Pub. Corp. 645p.

Hutchinson H. B., MacLennan K. The determination of soil carbonates. Jour. Agr. Sci. 1914. 6:323-27. DOI: 10.1017/S0021859600001866 [CrossRef]

Richards L. A. Diagnosis and improvement of saline and alkali soils. U.S. Dept. Agr. Handbook No. 60. 1954. Washington, D.C.: Govt. Print. Off.

Reitemeier R. F. Effect of moisture content on dissolved and exchangeable ions of soils of arid regions. Soil Sci. 1946. 61:195-214. DOI: 10.1097/00010694-194603000-00001 [CrossRef]

Babcock K, Carlson R, Schulz R, Overstreet R. 1959. A study of the effect of irrigation water composition on soil properties. Hilgardia 29(3):155-170. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v29n03p155
Webmaster Email: sjosterman@ucanr.edu