חיפוש מתקדם
Science of the Total Environment

E. Shtull-Trauring
A. Cohen
M. Ben-Hur
M. Israeli
N. Bernstein

Treated wastewater (TWW) is increasingly used for agricultural irrigation, and often contains higher concentrations of the major plant nutrients N, P, and K than freshwater, reducing the need for agricultural fertilization. However, excessive inputs of nutrients to cropping systems can be harmful to crops and the environment. The present study developed and employed six novel indices to assess the sustainability of TWW-irrigation and spatio-temporal trends in NPK loads to TWW-irrigated fields. Three indices relate to regional analysis of TWW-irrigation sustainability: the ‘Environmental sustainability’ index measures the TWW compliance with environmental irrigation standards; a ‘Nutritional sustainability’ index assesses whether the TWW satisfy crop fertilization requirements; a ‘Basin nutrient surplus’ index measures deviations of N or P loads to river basins from allowed levels. Three additional indices assess the environmental impact, potential loss of nutrients and fit of a given TWW for fertilization recommendations. We employed these indices to analyze a decade-long high spatio-temporal resolution data of TWW quality from Israel on a basin scale, for six TWW-irrigated plantation crops. The results reveal that in high-sensitivity hydrological areas, TWW is generally above the environmental standard for N and P; the TWW with lowest nutrient content is irrigated in low-sensitivity areas, leading to a reduced potential for utilization of nutrients in TWW. While the N irrigation standard (25 mg L−1) does not exceed the nutritional requirements of most analyzed crops, the P standard (5 mg L−1) results in excess fertilization for all analyzed crops. Therefore, environmental and nutritional sustainability of TWW-irrigation can be increased by diverting high-quality TWW to high-sensitivity areas and vice versa. Furthermore, development of local environmental standards will allow maximizing TWW NPK utilization in low-sensitivity areas, increasing nutritional sustainability. The indices presented in this study provide a tool to help maximize the nutritional benefits of TWW while minimizing its environmental impact.

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הספר "אוצר וולקני"
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תנאי שימוש
NPK in treated wastewater irrigation: Regional scale indices to minimize environmental pollution and optimize crop nutritional supply
806

E. Shtull-Trauring
A. Cohen
M. Ben-Hur
M. Israeli
N. Bernstein

NPK in treated wastewater irrigation: Regional scale indices to minimize environmental pollution and optimize crop nutritional supply

Treated wastewater (TWW) is increasingly used for agricultural irrigation, and often contains higher concentrations of the major plant nutrients N, P, and K than freshwater, reducing the need for agricultural fertilization. However, excessive inputs of nutrients to cropping systems can be harmful to crops and the environment. The present study developed and employed six novel indices to assess the sustainability of TWW-irrigation and spatio-temporal trends in NPK loads to TWW-irrigated fields. Three indices relate to regional analysis of TWW-irrigation sustainability: the ‘Environmental sustainability’ index measures the TWW compliance with environmental irrigation standards; a ‘Nutritional sustainability’ index assesses whether the TWW satisfy crop fertilization requirements; a ‘Basin nutrient surplus’ index measures deviations of N or P loads to river basins from allowed levels. Three additional indices assess the environmental impact, potential loss of nutrients and fit of a given TWW for fertilization recommendations. We employed these indices to analyze a decade-long high spatio-temporal resolution data of TWW quality from Israel on a basin scale, for six TWW-irrigated plantation crops. The results reveal that in high-sensitivity hydrological areas, TWW is generally above the environmental standard for N and P; the TWW with lowest nutrient content is irrigated in low-sensitivity areas, leading to a reduced potential for utilization of nutrients in TWW. While the N irrigation standard (25 mg L−1) does not exceed the nutritional requirements of most analyzed crops, the P standard (5 mg L−1) results in excess fertilization for all analyzed crops. Therefore, environmental and nutritional sustainability of TWW-irrigation can be increased by diverting high-quality TWW to high-sensitivity areas and vice versa. Furthermore, development of local environmental standards will allow maximizing TWW NPK utilization in low-sensitivity areas, increasing nutritional sustainability. The indices presented in this study provide a tool to help maximize the nutritional benefits of TWW while minimizing its environmental impact.

Scientific Publication
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