Assessment of reclaimed water irrigation on growth, yield, and water-use efficiency of forage crops

S. A. Alkhamisi, H. A. Abdelrahman, M. Ahmed, M. F.A. Goosen

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Field experiments were conducted to determine the effect of water quality (reclaimed and fresh water), water quantity, and their interactions on the growth, yield, and water use efficiency of forage maize during two winter seasons in the Arabian Gulf. The plants irrigated with the reclaimed water had higher plant height than those irrigated with the fresh water. The leaf length and leaf area (cm2) did not show any significant differences among the interaction. Reclaimed water had shorter time for 50% male and female flowering of forage maize plants, indicating earlier maturity. Plants irrigated with reclaimed water had higher chlorophyll content for all levels of water applications. A significant difference in green forage yield was found among the interactions. Reclaimed water gave the highest green forage yield of 72. 12 and 59. 40 t/ha at 1. 4ETo and 1. 0ETo, respectively. Plants irrigated with the reclaimed water used water more efficiently [3. 65 kg/m3 of DM (dry matter)] than those irrigated with the fresh water [2. 91 kg/m3 of DM (dry matter)] for all water quantities. The enhanced growth in wastewater-irrigated crops, compared with fresh water-irrigated crops, was attributed primarily to higher nutrient content (e. g., nitrogen) and lower salinity of the reclaimed water. The study concluded that treated wastewater irrigation increased yields of forage crops and their water use efficiency. Cost-benefit analysis, studies on the use these forage crops as animal feed, and more in depth evaluation of possible crop and soil contamination were recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-65
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Water Science
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Forage crops
  • Nutrients
  • Reclaimed Water
  • Wastewater Management
  • Zea mays

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology

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