Salinity management in southern Italy irrigation areas

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Massimo Monteleone *
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Massimo Monteleone |


After a synthetic review of the most worrisome pressures applied over soils and waters, general criterions and normative principles that have to lead the technical intervention on soil and water protection are accounted, both with respect to farm activity and land planning. The salinity problem is faced, then, through the analysis of the nature and origin of saline soil and of the complex quantitative relationships able to interpret the accumulation and leaching of soil salts. Having specified the theoretical bases of salinity, the related technical features are then considered in order to define a proper management of soil and waters. Particular relevance is assigned to the irrigation and leaching techniques as well as, more briefly, to other agronomic interventions in order to guarantee the most effective salinity control. Another relevant technical facet of salinity control, although quite often neglected or retained of secondary importance in comparison to irrigation, is the drainage and disposal of leached water. The increased sensibility on the environmental impacts that the disposal of these waters can produce has raised today the level of attention on these procedures that are disciplined by norms of law and, therefore, require appropriate techniques of intervention. Finally, after the different scale orders involved in the management of salinity are defined (from the field and farm level up to the land and basin), the fundamental elements in order to work out a risk analysis and an action program are illustrated; some indications about the most up to date salinity monitoring and mapping methods are also provided, considering their great importance to continuously check the possible broadening of salinization and to carefully maintain its control.

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