Use of saline and non-potable water in the turfgrass industry: Constraints and developments

K. B. Marcum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Citations (Scopus)


The need for salt-tolerant turfgrasses is ever-increasing. Rapid urban population growth has put enormous pressures on limited freshwater supplies. Many state and local governments have reacted by placing restrictions on the use of potable water for irrigating turfgrass landscapes, instead requiring use of reclaimed, or other secondary saline water sources. In coastal areas, overpumping, and resultant salt water intrusion of coastal wells used for irrigating turfgrass facilities has widely occurred. The nature and extent of the salinity problem, followed by basic salinity issues and available management choices, will be discussed. Issues facing the turf manager using saline water sources are soil salinization, resulting in direct salt injury to turf, and secondary problems of loss of soil structure ensuing from sodium and bicarbonate effects, resulting in loss of salt leaching potential and soil anaerobiosis. Management choices for the turf manager using saline water are limited. Soil salinity must be maintained below the level deemed detrimental to the turf, by maintaining sufficient leaching. Sodium/bicarbonate affected soils must be managed to maintain sufficient permeability to permit adequate leaching. Finally, salt tolerant turf species/cultivars must be used. Long-term solutions to the salinity problem will require development of improved salt-tolerant turfgrasses. Progress in cultivar development, and future development of potential alternative halophytic turfgrass species will also be discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-146
Number of pages15
JournalAgricultural Water Management
Issue number1-3 SPEC. ISS.
Publication statusPublished - Feb 24 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Breeding
  • Halophytes
  • Salinity tolerance
  • Water quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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