Effects of boron pollution in the lower buyuk menderes basin (Turkey) on agricultural areas and crops



The aim of this study is to study the effects of Boron (B) pollution in Buyuk Menderes river on planted crops and agricultural areas constructed in the irrigation schemes by the State Hydraulic Works (DSI) of the Lower Buyuk Menderes basin, Turkey. The studied irrigation schemes in the basin are Saraykoy, Pamukkale, Nazilli, Aydin, Sultanhisar, Koçarli, and Soke. Mean B concentrations of river water used in the irrigation schemes ranged from 0.10 to 0.43 mgB L−1 for the period of 2008 to 2009. A total of 100,556 ha of the agricultural area and the basin groundwater resources are under the influence of B pollution from the Buyuk Menderes river. The amount of B accumulating in soils and seepage in the groundwater due to the used irrigation water was 18,495,350 and 9153 kgB yr−1, respectively. B accumulating in the irrigated area ranged from 670 to 4521 gB ha−1 yr−1. In total, 19,410,650 kg yr−1 of B have negatively affected the agricultural areas, groundwater resources, and environmental conditions. Nazilli and Sultanhisar irrigation areas are under the threat of wastewater discharges originating from the Kizildere geothermal power plant and Tekke thermal spring. Particularly, fruit crops such as citrus, peach, plum, fig, olive, and wheat, strawberry, sunflower are to be negatively affected by the present B concentrations in the irrigation water. © 2010 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Environ Prog, 2011