Thursday, April 14, 2011

Salinity Research Paper

Salinity Research Paper

Dryland salinity is when the salt is moved to the land surface with the ground water and is the most damaging form of salinity. The Southwest of western Australia is being over run by salinity and something needs to be done about it. The problem is getting so dramatic that it is predicted that within the next 50 yearsextinctions in the wheatbelt will cost us 450 species of plant, 280 species of invertebrates and 75% of waterbirds. In 1982 there were 264,000 hectares affected by salinity, by 1996 this number had increased to 1,804,000 hectares. Although there are many projects in place, I believe that the development of underground drainage could go a long way to eradicating this long term environmental problem.


My aim is to put in place a project that over the next ten to twenty years can eliminate the threat that salinity is bestowing upon us. The project involves putting in place an underground drainage system that can eliminate the rising ground waters and keep them at a safe depth.

Dryland salinity affects land and water resourses not only at the site but elsewhere in the catchment or outside the catchment (downstream). It is more pervasive than other forms of degredation, but is closely linked. For examlple, it can cause soil erosion, nutrient build up in streams which can promote algal blooms, as well as the loss of plants from river or creek edge leading to riverbank erosion and loss of wildlife habitat. On farms, salinity reduces productivity of the soil, thus decreases income and the capital value of the land. Salinity damages infrastructure, salinises water storage, causes loss of farm flaura and fauna andd loss of shelter for livestock. These effects are magnified at the regional level. Salinity can also and is having a substantial impact on public resources such as water supplies, roads and biodiversity.

The Drain
On his farm in Kojonup, Stuart Tohl, environmentalist, farmer, engineer and inventor applied some lateral thinking to the salinity problem. His system involves draining underground water away in a controlled fashion that does not allow it to create further environmental effects on his property.

The drains do a very similar job to that of an conventional open drain, but you don't loose any land and doubles as an effective recyclable use. In fact just one kilometre of drainage uses approximately 8,000 typical car tyres. These tyres once burnt or left out in the UV rays, are put to rest remaining relatively stable in the sub-surface conditions. Depreciating steel components appear to have no effect either. To date there has been no evidence of invasion in the drains, even where tress have been planted close to the run of the drains.

This underground drain comes into its own when you have a salt effected area in the middle of a paddock. If you put a conventional drain in you would loose what could be valuable land and would quite frankly become very annoying. The underground drain on the other hand is excellent in that once the soil has settled the farmer is still able to use his land.

My proposal is to build a network of these underground drains not only involving each individual farm but combining whole salt effected regions. This will effectively lower the water table a lot faster than working individually and in the long run will be more cost effective. If the water table can be lowered then this will improve soil productivity greatly and will reduce the annual fertilizer bill, freeing up money to be put into making your farm more efficient. It will also lesson the impact chemicals are having on our environment. It is hoped that we can eradicate 100 acres of salt effect land per farm every five years, leading to greater income for the farmer and a much higher capital value for the land.

Although at this stage the drains do cost approximately $8,000 per kilometre, it is believed that once the manufacturing of the drains become more efficient, this figure should fall to approximately $5,000. One advantage of the drain is that it is possible to be paid to use the tyres and once a large program is in place, it is hopeful that the government may rebate those who do use this form of drainage.

Although the drain is relatively new still it has been proven to be very successful. If a program or series of drains involving a whole region can be put in place then I this will lower the water table and improve soil productivity dramatically. It will also mean that less fertilizer will be needed and therefore lowering the cost of running a viable farm and also go along way to keeping the environment chemical free.

Warning!!! All free online research papers, research paper samples and example research papers on Salinity topics are plagiarized and cannot be fully used in your high school, college or university education.

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