Modeling irrigation with nitrate contaminated groundwater

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hatipoglu g., KURT Z.

Pamukkale Üniversitesi Mühendislik Bilimleri Dergisi, 2019 (Journal Indexed in ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.5505/pajes.2019.38963
  • Title of Journal : Pamukkale Üniversitesi Mühendislik Bilimleri Dergisi


An alternative method to treat the nitrate-contaminated groundwater under the agricultural fields while providing economic benefit is called pump and fertilize. Pump and fertilize, while removing the nitrate in the groundwater, can reduce nitrate and pesticide requirement. However, up to date, there are no studies evaluating the effect of this application under different soil/climate conditions. In order to apply this technology in the field and to determine its effect, a feasibility study needs to be performed. Therefore, we constructed unsaturated zone groundwater models via HYDRUS 1D for one-hectare corn field in prevalent soils and under Eskisehir, Adana, Sanliurfa, Duzce climates in Turkey. Our results indicated that even groundwater with 50 mg/L nitrate contamination could provide economic benefit to the agriculture especially where climates and soil types are similar to Sanliurfa. In this climate using pump and fertilize technique saves 97 kg N/year in a 1-hectare farm. The technique was especially effective for fluvisol, vertisol soils as nitrate leaching are very low, and for cambisol soils since very high nitrogen use efficiency was seen for the climates present in Turkey. Our results indicated that in general the pump and treat efficiency is less effective in wet and cold climates, like in Duzce. As a general result of our study, we concluded that dry and warm climates with relatively permeable soils are more promising for the pump and fertilize application.