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Salinity & Nutrients

We specialize in managing salinity and nutrients to optimize agricultural production and environmental protection. We have a broad range of experience in reclaiming agro-ecosystems when the balance between nutrients, salt, water, plants and soil needs to be restored. Land IQ has also developed new technologies to model nutrient dynamics that affect carbon and other greenhouse gas flux. Carbon accounting has an increasing role in California agriculture and in various land system inventories nationwide. Our services focused on salinity and nutrients include:

  • Sodic and saline soil reclamation
  • Nutrient interactions
  • Carbon accounting
  • Beneficial reuse of solids and wastewaters
  • Animal waste management
  • Salinity management in crops, soil and water systems

Petroglyph Sodic Soil Reclamation

sodic soil nutrients reclamation crop yield agriculture salinity soil analysis plant tissue sampling Agriculture Water Resources Salinity & Nutrients

Land IQ worked with Petroglyph Energy, Inc. to reclaim sodic soil on a dairy farm site near La Veta, CO. Petroglyph discharged water from coal bed methane dewatering operations in the Cucharas River under permit from the State of Colorado. The discharge water was high in sodium, and resulted in high loading rates of sodium applied to corn fields irrigated with Cucharas River water. Land IQ, in collaboration with Petroglyph, farm ownership, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, and soil experts from the National Resources Conservation Service, designed and implemented a site evaluation, an intensive reclamation plan, and a monitoring plan to restore productivity on sodic farm soils. Land IQ’s expertise in salinity-related soil and crop management resulted in improvement in soil conditions and corn yields within one year.

City of Los Angeles Biosolids Beneficial Reuse Nutrient Management

nutrients biosolids reclaimed water beneficial reuse market assessment Agriculture Salinity & Nutrients

The City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation needed to complete a nutrient management and monitoring plan for their 4,688-acre biosolids and reclaimed water beneficial reuse site, Green Acres, in Kern County, CA. Land IQ staff developed a plan that included soil and plant tissue monitoring, assessing nutrient and soil chemical properties, determining local markets for farm crops, evaluating plant-available nitrogen status and loading rates, developing a biosolids loading rate tool that stores and manages farm data, interpreting groundwater monitoring data, and associated reporting and public relations efforts. The farm grows wheat, corn, alfalfa, sorghum and sudan grass. The information and tools in this plan assisted the City of Los Angeles in improving the quality of biosolids management and encouraging public communication about biosolids use through efforts with the National Biosolids Partnership.

City of Davis Constructed Wetland Performance Evaluation

wastewater plant tissue sampling soil sampling Salinity & Nutrients

Land IQ conducted a performance evaluation of constructed wetlands, known as overland flow cells, to provide recommendations on optimizing nutrient removal as part of a wastewater treatment process. The evaluation included collecting and interpreting analytical data from plant tissue and soil samples within the overland flow cells and in control areas, as well as observing site conditions. To provide recommendations to the City of Davis for improving site performance, Land IQ considered grass varieties, managing for optimum yield, managing grass clippings from mowing, irrigating for optimum performance, and monitoring. The overland flow cells provide secondary treatment for the wastewater collected, treated and discharged by the City of Davis wastewater pollution control plant.

City of Davis Manganese Study

soil analysis waste discharge permit wastewater Agriculture Water Resources Salinity & Nutrients

Land IQ conducted a study to determine the relationship between site-specific manganese levels in irrigation water and agricultural soils. The investigation included sampling a range of soil types, and interpreting results from soil analysis to determine the relationship between manganese and soil characteristics such as pH, texture, and other nutrient interactions. This information was used to fulfill the requirements of the discharge permit under which the City of Davis discharges treated wastewater into Willow Slough and the Yolo bypass. The wastewater treatment plant operated by the City of Davis in Davis, CA, collects wastewater from residents of Davis, California and two unincorporated areas in Yolo County.

Santa Clara River Watershed Agricultural Irrigation Thresholds/TMDL

chloride agriculture salinity wastewater water management Agriculture Water Resources Salinity & Nutrients

Land IQ personnel worked with Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts to serve as the lead technical consultant for the Santa Clara River Watershed TMDL Collaborative Process. Land IQ specifically focused on the agricultural irrigation thresholds for chloride and salinity for the production of avocados, strawberries and nursery crops. This work involved collaboration in stakeholder meetings with representatives from:

  • California Avocado Commission
  • California Strawberry Commission
  • Nursery Crop Organizations
  • Individual Growers
  • Ventura County Farm Bureau
  • California Regional Water Quality Control Board
  • Newhall Land and Ranch Company
  • United Water Conservation District
  • Elected Public Officials
  • Various Environmental Groups

Over a 2.5-year period, a detailed literature review and evaluation was developed to help determine the potential threshold of irrigation water quality constituents of concern, specifically chloride and salinity, on sensitive crops as a basis of the TMDL process. Local grower input was gathered through interviews and field surveys. To establish acceptable irrigation water quality, NewFields conducted a detailed assessment of water quality, irrigation practices, cultural practices and drainage management. The work also included comprehensive public notification efforts with stakeholder groups, public officials, researchers, and farm managers. A six-person academic technical panel comprised of experts in this field reviewed all work produced by NewFields. This work has been highly influential in establishing a chloride TMDL for irrigation of sensitive species in the Santa Clara River Basin. Despite the controversial subject matter, the literature review and findings were commended by industry professionals, agencies, environmentalists, and academics on both sides for scientific merit and objectivity.

Rio Tinto Mine dewatering and Irrigation Project – Saline Water Managment

Water Resources Salinity & Nutrients

Land IQ was a consultant for British-based Rio Tinto Mining Company and its subsidiary, Resolution Copper Mining near Phoenix, Arizona. The project focuses on the blending of saline mine water with Central Arizona Project water for irrigation of cotton, alfalfa, sorghum and sod. Land IQ is leading an effort to create an acceptable blended water quality for irrigation on approximately 7,000 acres of agricultural land within the New Magma Irrigation and Drainage District.

This project involves direct working efforts with the United States Bureau of Reclamation, the state of Arizona Lands Department, New Magma Irrigation and Drainage District, the University of Arizona Soil, Water and Environmental Science Department, Rio Tinto and the Resolution Copper. Many of these multi-stakeholder efforts were for the purpose of obtaining permitting documents and satisfying the discharge requirements. The project involved real-time monitoring of treated mine water, Central Arizona Project water, and the blended water quality and quantity.

The network monitors in-canal Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), temperature, and pH probes. A web-based portal and mapping application was used for instantaneous water quality assessment and tracking. Land IQ also manages a comprehensive soil, water, and tissue sampling program that will take place at least quarterly for the expected 3- to 4-year project duration. Crop growth stages and tracking will also be conducted. After it is dewatered, this mine will be the largest copper mine in North America.