Analysis of the Effect of Thematic Irrigation Schemes on Soil and Water Quality in Butaleja, Uganda
Irrigation processes have been at the forefront of reasons for increased food production. However, the soil and water parameters are areas of focus when considering irrigation. The study aimed to assess the effect of irrigation on soil and water parameters in the Doho irrigation scheme in Eastern Uganda. The methodology used was generally quantitative, following experimental designs. Water and soil samples were picked from randomly selected blocks for experiments conducted directly in the field and in the laboratories. Parameters tested include the pH, Electrical conductivity, salinity, Ca, K and Na among others. Findings revealed that irrigation affected all the parameters either negatively or positively regarding soil and water considerations. Irrigation increased salinity (0.1 – 0.2), electrical conductivity (1.49 – 4.2) and sodium (0.75 – 1.53) levels in soil and water, while prolonged irrigation lowered calcium (2.8 – 3.25) and potassium (0.45 – 0.76) levels. There was no considerable effect on water and soil pH. A variation was recorded in water and soil parameters where the highest concentrations were recorded in water samples. Prolonged irrigation affects water and soil parameters because it causes leaching of soil, causing a high concentration of ions in down layers of soil. Furthermore, the equipment that is often used to construct these schemes is often heavy compacting soil, and resulting oil spills alter physical and chemical properties. The study recommends that there should be continuous assessment of chemical and physical properties for water and soil parameters in Doho and other similar irrigation projects around the globe
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