Status and evaluation of the selected soil nutrients irrigated by unconventional water (Case study: Qom)

Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Department of Geography and Eco-Tourism, Faculty of Natural Resources and Earth Sciences, University of Kashan, Kashan, Iran

2 Department of Arid and Mountainous Regions Reclamation, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Iran



Population’s exponential growth along with drought has increased water resources limitation, especially in arid and semi-arid area. Therefore, the use of non-conventional water is an important tool for water resource management. If unconventional water has no negative impact on soil properties and water, it can be used for irrigation coupled with desertification projects. So, this paper tries to present the effect of irrigation with municipal wastewater, salt water, brackish water, and combination of salty water and wastewater on some soil properties including nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in Qom plain. Soil samples were taken from agricultural land treated by wastewater, saline water, brackish water, combination of salty water, and wastewater and range land as control in five treatments from depths of 0-30 and 60-90 centimeter. The results showed that wastewater has increased the amount of N, P, and K to other treatments and control area. The concentration of potassium in surface layer of area treated by combination of salty water and wastewater with amount of 459.39 ppm has the most significant difference to control and other treatments. Also, the maximum amount of nitrogen was observed in sub layer of saline and brackish water treatment with amount of 0.08 percent.  


Abegunrin, T.P., Awe, G.O., Idowu, D.O. and Adejumobi, M.A. (2016). Impact of wastewater irrigation on soil physico-chemical properties, growth and water use pattern of two indigenous vegetables in southwest Nigeria. Catena, 139, 167–178.
Abolhasani, A., Zehtabian, Gh., Mashhadi, N., Khosravi, H., and Soltani Gerd-e-faramarzi, M. (2015), Evaluation of the Effect of Irrigation with Treated Wastewater on some Soil Properties. Water Reuse, 1(1), 17-24.
Akbarnezhad, F., Astaraei, A., Fotovat, A. and Mahalati, M. (2012). Impact of Urban Wastewater and Sewage Sludge Compost on Chemical Specifications of Soil. Water and Soil J., 6, 767-772.
Alizadeh, A. (1996). Usage of treated domestic wastewaters in irrigation. Second National Congress of Water and Soil Issues, Collection of Articles, Vol. 1, Ministry of Agriculture, Agriculture Research, Education and Extension Organization.
Alizadeh, A. (1999). Relation between water and soil of plants”, Imam Reza University Press, 484p.
Al-Omron, A.M., El-Maghraby, S.E., Nadeem, M.E.A., El-Eter, A.M. and Al-Mohani, H. (2012). Long term effect of irrigation with the treated sewage effluent on somesoil properties of Al-Hassa Governorate, Saudi Arabia. Journal of the Saudi Society of Agricultural Sciences,11, 15–18.
Anderson, I., Adin, A., Crook, J., Davis, C., Holtquist, R., Jimensz-Cisneros, B., Kennedy, W., Sheikh B. and Vander Merwe, B. (2001). Climbing the ladder: a step- by-step approach to international guidelines for water recycling. Water Science Technology, 43, 1-8.
Asno, T. and Levine, A.D. (1996). Waste water reclamation, recycling: past, present and future. Water Science Technology, 33, 1-14.
Barzegar, A.R. (2000). Saline and Sodium Soils: Recognition and Operation. Shahid Chamran University Press, Ahwaz.
Bar-Tal, A., Fine, P., Uri, Y., Ben-Gal, A. and Hass, A. (2015). Practices that simultaneously optimize water and nutrient use efficiency: Israeli experiences in fustigation and irrigation with treated wastewater. In: Drechel, P., Heffer, P., Hillel, M., Mikkelsen, R., Wichlens, D. (Eds.), Managing Water and Fertilizer for Sustainable Agricultural Intensification. IFA, IWMI, IPNI and IPI, Paris, France, pp. 209–241.
Basirani, N. (1992). Investigating physical and chemical specifications of soil. Seminar of assessing problems in Iran deserts and arid lands.
Beber, S. (1962). Diffusion and mass food concept of soil nutrient availability. Soil Science, 93, 29-39.
Benbi, D.K. and Brar, J.S. (2009). A 25-year record of carbon sequestration and soil prop-erties in intensive agriculture. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 29 (2), 257–265.
Bina, B. (1993). Impact of time-temperature on mortality of bacteria in water treatment system. 2(8), 11.
Brar, B.S., Singh, K., Dheri, G.S. and Kumar, B. (2013). Carbon sequestration and soil carbonpools in a rice–wheat cropping system: effect of long-term use of inorganic fertilizers and organic manure. Soil Tillage Research, 128, 30–36.
Feizi, M. (2002). Impacts of Water’s Salinity on Wheat Product. J. of Water and Soil Sciences, 16(2), 214-222.
Feizi, M. (2008). Efficient application of saline waters in cotton cultivation. J. of Soil Studies (Water and Soil Sciences), 22(2), 182-188.
Fine, P. and Hadas, E. (2012). Options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions during waste-water treatment for agricultural use. Science Total Environment, 416, 289–299.
Ghanbari, A., Abedi Koupai, J., and Taie Semiromi, J. (2007).  Effect of Municipal Wastewater Irrigation on Yield and Quality of Wheat and Some Soil Properties in Sistan Zone. Journal Science & Technology Agriculture & Natural Resources, 10, (4), 59-75.
Hanson, J.B. (1967). Roots selectors of plants nutrients. Plant food Review, Spring, 45-53 p.
Hassan Lee, A. and Javan, M. (2005). Assessing treated urban wastewater and its application in irrigation of green space: case study (wastewater treatment plant of Marvdasht). J. of Environmental Studies, 38, 23-30.
Hussain, I., Rashidi, L., Hanjra, M.A., Markar, F. and Van der Hoek, W. (2002). Wastewater use in aAgriculture: Review of impact and methodological Issues in Valuing impacts (With an extended list if bibliographical references), Working Paper 37 Colombo. Sri Lanka: International Water management institute.
Imam Gholi, M. (2012). Assessing impacts of urban wastewater in vivification of deserts on some chemical specifications of soil and vegetation, M.Sc. Thesis, University of Tehran.
IWMI. (2006). Water Briefing No. 17: Recycling Realities: Managing Health Risks to Make Wastewater an Asset, briefing/files/wpb 17.Pdf.
Jamshidi, A. (2008). Assessing impacts of agricultural operations (water quality) on destruction of farmlands. M.Sc. Thesis, University of Tehran.
Jeffery. L., Smith, J., Halvorson J. and Bolton, H. (2002). Soil properties and microbial activity across a 500 melevation gradient in semi-arid environment. J. of Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 34(11), 1749-1757.
Mojiri, A. (2011). Effects of municipal wastewater on physical and chemical properties of saline soil. J. of Biodiversity and Environmental Science, 5(14), 71-76.
Moradmand, M. (2009). Impacts of using urban wastewater in Shahrekord on density of soil phosphor, potassium and nitrogen and their role in growth of green pepper. Fourth Regional Conference of Modern Agricultural Ideas.
Moreno, F., Cabrera, F., Fernandez-Boy, E., Giron, I.F., Fernandez, J.E. and Bellido, B. (2001). Irrigation with saline water in the reclaimed marsh soils of south-west Spain: impact on soil properties and cotton and sugar beet crops. Agricultural Water Management, 48, 133–150.
Najafi, P., Jahangir, S. and Ahams, A. (2015) The effects of irrigation methods on some of soil and plant microbial indices using treated municipal wastewater, International Journal of Recycling of Organic Waste in Agriculture, 4, 63-65, DOI: 10.1007/s40093-015-0084-4.
Oron, G., Gilerman, L., Bick, A., Mnaor, Y., Burikovsky, N. and Hagin, J. (2007). Advanced low quality waters treatment for unrestricted use purposes: Imminent challenges. Desalination, 213, 189-198.
Osakwe, S.A. (2012). Effect of cassava processing effluent on physical and chemical properties of soils in Abraka and Environs, Delta State, Nigeria. Chem. Materials Research Bulletin, 2 (7), 27–39.
Payandeh, K. H., Gholami, A. and Beladi, T. (2010). Assessing agricultural application of grey water on qualitative changes of the soil. Second national seminar of importance of wastewater and sewage in water resources management – applications.
Saha, J.K., Panwar, N., Srivastava, A., Biswas, A.K., Kundu, S. and Subbarao, A. 2010. Chem-ical, biochemical, and biological impact of untreated domestic sewage water use on Vertisol and its consequences on wheat (Triticumaestivum) productivity. Environmental Monitoring Assessment, 161, 403–412.
Scott, C.A., Farqui, N.I. and Raschid-Sally, L. (2002). Wastewater Use in Irrigated Agriculture: confronting the livelihood and environmental Realities, International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and the International Development Research Center (IDRC) Publication.
Simmons, R.W., Ahmad, W., Noble, A.D., Blummel, M., Evans, A., Weckenbrock, P. (2010). Effect of long-term un-treated domestic wastewater re-use on soil quality, wheat grain and straw yields and attributes of fodder quality. Irrigation and Drainage System, 24, 95-112.
Singh, P.K., Deshbhratar, P.B. and Ramteke, D.S. (2012). Effects of sewage wastewater irrigation on soil properties, crop yield and environment. Agricultural Water Management, 103, 100–104.
Sharma, R., Agrawal, M. and Marshall, F. (2007). Heavy Metal Contamination of Soil and Vegetables in Suburban Areas of Varanasi, India. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 66, 258– 266.
Tester, C.F., Sikora, L.J. and Taylor, J.F. (1973). Ddecomposinon of Sewage Sludge Compost in soil: 3. Carbon, Nitrogen, Phosphor, Transformation in Different Size fraction. J. of Environmental Quality, 8, 79-82.
Tyson, S. and Zand, N. (1991). Fertilizers and Soils Fertility, Translated by Malakouti, M. J. and Riazi Hamedani, S.A., Markaz Nashr Daneshgahi Publication.
Zehtabian, G.H., Amiri, B. and Souri, M. (2005). Investigating and comparing status of soil nutrients considering N. P. K in farmlands and rangelands: case study (Khodabandeh Zanjan). J. of Agricultural and Gardening Research and Development, 68, 9-18.