Suggestion for hard water treatment for irrigation

Hi Everyone,

The testing on my open well water (250 feet depth) in Rajasthan has shown the following results:

pH  7.8
EC  1.6
Na+ 11.4
Ca++ and Mg++ 4.6
CO3 + HCO3 12.8
Cl- 3.2
SAR (sodium absorption ratio) 7.51
SSP (soluble sodium percent) 71.25
RSC  (residual sodium carbonate) 8.2

As indicated above, the water is highly alkaline/saline with prominence of sodium (sodicity) and bicarbonates.  As a result, the soil has become hard and impermeable and crop yield has decreased.

Of course soil treatment with gypsum, manure and compost has been suggested but I was looking for feasible cost-effective solutions at the water level itself, something like an “ion-exchange” that would tone down the high content of sodium and carbonate/bicarbonate ions and soften the water to the extent that it would not adversely affect the soil porosity/alkalinity.

Also I have heard of an antiscalant electromagnetic device (installed at water discharge outlet of pump) that electrostatically affects the charge in the salt ions such that they would not combine immediately to form a scale, i.e., the charge given by the device keeps the ions in ionic state for longer duration, thus preventing scaling and clogging in pipes and drip elements and soil.  They claim it improves soil porosity and crop yield by 20%.  This device is largely used in industrial boilers, however, is anyone on this forum aware of such a device and its utility in agriculture.  Any scientists out there who can suggest feasible and low-cost method of improving irrigation water quality with aim at improving soil health and crop yield. 


Not sure of the size of the land and crops that you wish to cultivate but if it isn’t too large, I’d suggest applying natural methods rather than seeking high technology such as heavy mulching, regular Jeevamrit application, planting of indigenous seed varieties that are saline tolerant and pitcher irrigation. All of these practices help mitigate soil / water salinity and the first two also help create new soil. Application of charcoal powder to soil (biochar) also increases soil porosity.

Most of these are low cost methods. If you carry them out dedicatedly and intensively and combine them with good watershed management practices to retain rainwater in the soil for longer duration reducing the need for irrigation, you’ll be on your way in a couple of years or so.