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University of Sydney (2001)

Simulating and assessing salinisation in the lower Namoi Valley

Ahmed, Mohammad Faruque

Titre : Simulating and assessing salinisation in the lower Namoi Valley

Auteur : Ahmed, Mohammad Faruque

Université de soutenance : University of Sydney

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2001

Résumé partiel
Dryland salinity is increasing in the upper catchments of central and northern New South Wales, Australia. Consequently, salts may be exported downstream, which could adversely affect cotton irrigated-farming systems. In order to assess the potential threat of salinity a simple salt balance model based on progressively saline water (i.e., ECiw 0.4, 1.5, 4.0 and 9.0 dS/m) was used to simulate the potential impact of salinisation due to the farming systems. The study was carried out in the lower Namoi valley of northern New South Wales, Australia. A comparison has been made of the various non-linear techniques (indicator kriging, multiple indicator kriging and disjunctive kriging) to determine an optimal simulation method for the risk assessment. The simulation results indicate that potential salinisation due to application of the water currently used for irrigation (ECiw) is minimal and may not pose any problems to sustainability of irrigated agriculture. The same results were obtained by simulation based on irrigation using slightly more saline water (ECiw 1.4 dS/m). However, simulations based on irrigation using water of even lower quality (ECiw of 4 and 9.0 dS/m), shows potential high salinisation, which will require management inputs for sustainable cropping systems, especially legumes and wheat, which are used extensively in rotation with cotton. Disjunctive kriging was the best simulation method, as it produced fewer misclassifications in comparison with multiple-indicator kriging and indicator kriging. This study thus demonstrates that we can predict the salinity risk due to application of irrigation water of lower quality than that of the current water used. In addition, the results suggest here problems of excessive deep drainage and inefficient use of water might be a problem.

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