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Applied and Environmental Soil Science
Volume 2011, Article ID 504249, 11 pages
Research Article

Spatial Variability of Electrical Conductivity of Desert Soil Irrigated with Treated Wastewater: Implications for Irrigation Management

Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, New Mexico State University, P.O. Box 30003, MSC 3Q, Las Cruces, NM 88003-8003, USA

Received 23 June 2010; Revised 24 November 2010; Accepted 27 December 2010

Academic Editor: Artemi Cerda

Copyright © 2011 Pradip Adhikari et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Knowledge of spatial variability is important for management of land affected by various anthropogenic activities. This study was conducted at West Mesa land application site to determine the spatial variability of electrical conductivity (EC1:1) and suggest suitable management strategy. Study area was divided into five classes with EC increasing from class I to V. According to the coefficient of variation (CV), during 2009 and 2010, EC1:1 values for different classes were low to moderately variable at each depth. Semivariogram analysis showed that EC1:1 displayed both short and long range variability. Area coverage of classes I and II were much higher than classes III, IV, and V during 2009. However, during 2010 area coverage decreased from 26% to 14.91% for class II, increased from 12.11% to 22.97%, and 10.95% to 20.55 for classes IV and V, respectively. Overall area under EC1:1≥ 4 dS/m increased during 2009. Soil EC map showed EC classes IV (4.1–5 dS/m) and V (>5.1 dS/m) were concentrated at northwest and southeast and classes I and II were at the middle of the study plot. Thus, higher wastewater should be applied in the center and lower in the northwest and southwest part of the field.