Recycling Irrigation Water in Nursery Production

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  • 1 Departement de Genie Rural, Université Laval, Sainte-Foy, Qué. G1K 7P4, Canada

Overhead sprinkler systems in nurseries use large amount of water and fertilizers and generate runoff losses that may alter the quality of surface or subsurface water. Moreover, the cost associated with these losses is important. Water recycling may reduce that cost and the losses to the environment. Our objective was to evaluate the performance of two recycling systems (recycling and storing water in a tank and recycling solution through subirrigation on capillary mats) relative to a conventional overhead sprinkler system with no recycling. Two species (Prunus × Cistena and Spirea japonica `Little Princess') and seven substrates were used on plots subject to these irrigation practices. Treatments were compared for the water balance and the plant growth. After the first season, preliminary results showed that water and nutrient consumption were 65% less for sprinkler irrigation with recycling and with subirrigation on capillary mats. Plant yield and soil water content were statistically the same for the three treatments.

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