Salinity And Its Effects On The World 's Most Serious Environmental Problems

1100 Words Apr 19th, 2016 5 Pages
Salinity is one of the world’s most serious environmental problems in agriculture. It is estimated that about one-third of the world’s cultivated land is affected by salinity (Perez-
Alfocea et al., 1996). The National Academy of Sciences of the USA includes salinization of soils and waters as one of the leading processes contributing to a possible worldwide catastrophe (Francois and Maas, 1994). The increasing world population, especially in arid and semi-arid regions, food shortages, and land scarcity are compelling the use of lands not utilized because of salinity and other soil stresses. Salinity and sodicity problems are characterized by an excess of inorganic salts and are common in the arid and semi-arid lands (ASAL) where they have been naturally formed under the prevailing climatic conditions and due to the high rates of evapotranspiration and lack of leaching water (Mengel and Kirkby, 1982; Shannon et al., 1994). In the arid and semiarid parts of Africa, for instance, salinity and alkalinity are major problems affecting about 24% of the continent (Reich et al., 2004). According to Eswaran et al. (1997) about
30% of the population of Africa or about 250 million people are living on or are dependent on this type of land.
Although more frequent in arid lands, salt-affected soils are also present in areas where salinity is caused by poor quality of irrigation water and increases markedly during the dry season (De Pascale et al., 1997; Sifola and Postiglione, 2002). As…

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