Undesirable salinity increases occur in both groundwater and surface water and are commonly related to agricultural practices. Groundwater recharge from precipitation or irrigation will transport and disperse residual salts concentrated by evapotranspiration, salts leached from soil and aquifer materials, as well as some dissolved fertilizers and pesticides. Where stream salinity is affected by agricultural practices, the increases in salt load usually are attributable mostly to a groundwater component of flow. Thus, efforts to predict, manage, or control stream salinity increases should consider the role of groundwater in salt transport. Two examples of groundwater salinity problems in Colorado, U.S.A., illustrate that a model which simulates accurately the transport and dispersion of solutes in flowing groundwater can be (1) a valuable investigative tool to help understand the processes and parameters controlling the movement and fate of the salt, and (2) a valuable management tool for predicting responses and optimizing the development and use of the total water resource. ?? 1981.
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Role of solute-transport models in the analysis of groundwater salinity problems in agricultural areas