Using brackish water for irrigation will be discussed by experts attending an online seminar.
Water resources for irrigation in eastern areas are likely to come under increasing pressure from the slow creep of saline intrusion below ground. This means coastal soils could be exposed to greater levels of salinity.
The threat of saltwater inundation from flooding has also focus attention on water resources. Salinity is often associated with more arid parts of the world, but there has been less research in northern European climates.
But the potential to grow viable crops under more saline conditions – whether from more brackish irrigation water or due a coastal flood, is being explored by the EU Interreg project SalFar – or Saline Farming.
The project involves partners from seven countries. In the UK, Iain Gould is the lead researcher for the team at Lincoln University. He will present the project’s findings this month to a meeting of the UK Irrigation Association.
AHDB-funded trials by the Innovative Farmers Field lab are also researching using brackish water for potato irrigation.
The UKIA seminar takes place on at 10am on 13 January. For details, visit www.bit.ly/brackishwater.