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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: The sustainable and productive use of coal seam water – Understanding a soil-plant system to meet environmental and production goals

Location: Water Reuse and Remediation Research

2013 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
1. Determine impact of irrigation with coal bed methane derived waters on soil physical properties and plant production. 2. Develop remediation practices for sustained use of coal bed methane derived waters. 3. Determine impact of irrigation with coal bed methane waters on soil carbon reserves.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
1. Soil structural stability will be investigated across a range of soil types, primarily using large intact soil cores, in the presence of low quality waters, and with and without rainfall simulation. 2. Evaluate the stability of soil organic carbon in situ using synchrotron – based techniques, on soil cores that were previously treated with various coal bed methane waters. 3. Conduct greenhouse studies on salt tolerance of various salt tolerant and salt sensitive plant species including specific ion effects on crop yield.

3. Progress Report:
This project relates to objective 2, part a of the parent project, "Improve our ability to predict the impact of degraded waters on infiltration into soils and plant response to irrigation with these waters by; a) determining the impact of using degraded waters for irrigation, including the effect of solution chemistry, high dissolved organic matter, and application of organic wastes, on soil physical and chemical properties". This project includes research on the use of coal bed methane waters for irrigation. The impact of use of these degraded waters requires evaluation of the effects on soil physical properties. This project proposed visits to Australia by the U.S. cooperator and visits to the United States by the Australian cooperators enabling U.S. participation in a project to be conducted in Australia. The Australian research was to be funded by a grant from the Australian government to Queensland University in Brisbane, Australia. The initial proposal was not funded, but has been resubmitted. These funds are needed by the Australian cooperators to conduct the research and to pay for travel costs for the U.S. cooperator.

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 10/16/2017
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