Evaluation of soil and water salinity for irrigation in North-eastern Ethiopia: Case study of Fursa small scale irrigation system in Awash River Basin
For sound land use and water management in irrigated area, knowledge of the chemical composition of soils, water, climate, drainage condition and irrigation methods before action are crucial for sustainability of irrigation projects. The study aimed to evaluate the physicochemical properties of soils and water for intended irrigation scheme with reference to standard suitability classes. With regard to this, a study was conducted in Awash River Basin at Fursa small scale irrigation scheme in Northeastern Ethiopia. Soil samples were collected from bore holes of three soil mapping units of the study site across depth and water samples were taken from irrigation water with plastic bottles for analysis of range of physical and chemical properties. The results of the analysis reveal the existence of potential sodicity not only in the soil but also in the irrigation water. The study underlines the need for selection of salt tolerant crops and good water management by using appropriate irrigation methods to sustain productivity of soil in the proposed irrigation site. This has significant contribution to deciding the type of crop to be produced and appropriate irrigation methods for sustainability of soil productivity.
Key words: Fursa irrigation scheme, salinity, sodicity, soil analysis, water analysis.