Sustainable domestic effluent reuse via subsurface drip irrigation (SDI): Alfalfa as a perennial model crop

Shija Kazumba, Leonid Gillerman, Yoel Demalach, Gideon Oron

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Scopus citations


    Scarcity of fresh high-quality water has heightened the importance of wastewater reuse primarily in dry regions together with improving its efficient use by implementing the Subsurface Drip Irrigation (SDI) method. Sustainable effluent reuse combines soil and plant aspects, along with the maintainability of the application system. In this study, field experiments were conducted for two years on the commercial farm of Revivim and Mashabay-Sade farm (RMF) southeast of the City of Beer-Sheva, Israel. The purpose was to examine the response of alfalfa (Medicago sativa) as a perennial model crop to secondary domestic effluent application by means of a SDI system as compared with conventional overhead sprinkler irrigation. Emitters were installed at different depths and spacing. Similar amounts of effluent were applied to all plots during the experimental period. The results indicated that in all SDI treatments, the alfalfa yields were 11% to 25% higher than the ones obtained under sprinkler irrigated plots, besides the one in which the drip laterals were 200cm apart. The average Water Use Efficiency (WUE) was better in all SDI treatments in comparison with the sprinkler irrigated plots. An economic assessment reveals the dependence of the net profit on the emitters' installation geometry, combined with the return for alfalfa in the market.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)625-632
    Number of pages8
    JournalWater Science and Technology
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - 1 Jan 2010


    • Alfalfa
    • Economic assessment
    • Emitters location
    • Subsurface drip irrigation (SDI)
    • Sustainable effluent reuse

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Environmental Engineering
    • Water Science and Technology


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