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Wind, salt and water are leading indicators of land degradation in Abu Dhabi
Date:5/6/2009

evailing hyper-arid conditions in Abu Dhabi Emirate, the soil receives inadequate precipitation to effectively leach salts from the soil profile. Irrigation water is the primary source of salts. The suggested prerequisite research for this problem in Abu Dhabi Emirate includes characterization, mapping, and monitoring of salt-affected soils, as well as work to better understand the sources of salts, proper leaching requirements and efficient drainage systems, how to ensure good quality irrigation water, and optimal crops.

The study also identified waterlogging as a serious problem in many of the agricultural farms. The causes of waterlogging are poor drainage conditions due to the presence of hardpans, excessive use of irrigation water, and seawater intrusion. Landfilling for urban development and construction purposes is another unique land degradation feature in the Emirate. A traditional landfilling practice commonly used in Abu Dhabi Emirate is to bring material from the desert area and dump it into the saline areas. This practice is being applied for landscaping as well as agricultural purposes and is often performed in areas close to cities, around roads, palaces, farms, gardens, parks, etc. However, this excavation harms the areas from which the soil is removed, sometimes resulting in stagnation of water. Other land degradation types presented and discussed are loss of vegetation, water erosion in uplands, compaction, sealing, crusting, and mining. The author recommends that an emirate-wide action plan needs to be developed and implemented to manage and combat all types of degradation.

The study was also presented at the International Conference on Soil Degradation, Riga, Latvia 17-19 February 2009. The study was part of the ongoing research on the soil inventory of Abu Dhabi Emirate that commenced in 2002 and is funded by the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi.


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Contact: Sara Uttech
suttech@soils.org
608-268-4948
Soil Science Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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