System Dynamics Analysis of a Land Based Stream Salinity Management Approach

Shahbaz Khan, Aftab Ahmad

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

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In river plains, tributary streams generally carry rainfall runoff from catchments, escape water from irrigation areas and groundwater inflows. Rainfall runoff from inland catchments and escape water from irrigated land areas are normally of low salinity as compared to that of groundwater inflows, for example in the Murray River catchment the groundwater salinity can be as high as 50,000 μS/cm. High salinity levels in the rivers are responsible for increasingly serious environmental, economic and social consequences in the downstream irrigated regions.Preventive and remedial strategies are adopted to manage salt load in stream flows at the catchment and farm scales, particularly in dryland areas of Australia. The aim of preventive strategies is to prevent further increase in salt load by decreasing discharges of salt from catchments and from rising watertables. The aim of remedial strategies is to decrease or at least stabilize salt load in flows and to manage agricultural saline wastewaterdischarges. Catchment scale studies suggest that management of stream salinity require greater land use change than is economically viable. However, there has not been significant breakthrough in suggesting cost-effective farm scale stream salinity management alternatives, especially for irrigated areas.Removal of saline water from the Box Creek Stormwater Escape Channel (SEC) in the Murray Irrigation Area by pumping into off-stream storage can improve the stream water quality. This paper presents an application of the system dynamics (SD) analysis of composite salinity of the storage water which is subjected to land based salinitymanagement approach for contaminated waters. Contaminated surface waters are now frequently treated using a series of vegetated wetlands where intense biological processing occurs. One option for managing inevitable drainage water is to sequentially use and re-use it to grow salt-tolerant crops while concentrating the drainage to a manageable level. This treatment system is known as the “Sequential Biological Concentration (SBC)”.The results of SD iterative simulations of feedback mechanisms involved in controlling the dynamics of storage and its salinity levels show that 330 ML storage will be sufficient to extract significant amount of salt loads from the creek and supply to the SBC system of 30 ha plot in the first stage of treatment. Also it was found that the proposed SBC system is more efficient in terms of salts removed per unit volume of water extracted from the creek during the dry periods(2002-03). This paper presents a scoping study for salinity management of the Box Creek SEC receiving saline agricultural drainage through SBC setup simulated by system dynamics modelling.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLand, Water and Environmental Management
Subtitle of host publicationIntegrated Systems for Sustainability
EditorsLes Oxley, Don Kulasiri
Place of PublicationChristchurch, New Zealand
PublisherModelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9780975840047
Publication statusPublished - 2007
EventInternational Congress on Modelling and Simulation (MODSIM) - Christchurch, New Zealand
Duration: 10 Dec 200713 Dec 2007


ConferenceInternational Congress on Modelling and Simulation (MODSIM)
Country/TerritoryNew Zealand


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