News Ask a Scientist: What effect is losing arable land to salinization having? 19 April 2018

Published @ Ask a Scientist column, The Daily Beacon

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Ask a Scientist: What effect is losing arable land to salinization having?

How does salinization, the process by which water-dissolvable salts accumulate in the soil, affect soil health and fertility? Is it able to be reversed? Well, in order to better answer this question, we must first understand what irrigation is and the importance of soil salinity to crop yields. Irrigation is the practice of applying water to crops and land through man-made devices, typically through channels. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Economic Research Service the irrigation of agricultural crops accounts for most (80 percent!) of the nation’s water consumption.

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