Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Need and Means for Information Transfer on Water Repellency in Soils.

D. Moore1, J. G. Wesseling2, L. W. Dekker2, C. J. Ritsema2, S. J. Kostka1, and M. Franklin1. (1) Aquatrols, 843 East Parkway, Salt Lake City, UT 84106, (2) Alterra, PO Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, Netherlands

What value is discovery if it is not available for use?  Water repellency, or loss of wettability, in soils has been observed for decades in many soil types all over the world and identified as a significant confounding factor in soil hydrology and flow and transport processes.  Scientists have learned much about water repellency/hydrophobicity in soils and possibilities for its amelioration. This has resulted in an explosive increase in the number of published papers on the subject.  However access to the information is limited or difficult – especially for educators and practitioners.  Therefore soil water repellency is not recognized as a significant factor in plant management systems and associated agronomic and environmental issues remain unrecognized and unaddressed.  One exception is localized dry spot/patch in turf grass systems which, due to numerous papers, presentations and articles, is recognized as related to hydrophobic soils and manageable with soil surfactants (a.k.a wetting agents).  The significant impact of water repellency in turfgrass systems has resulted in a CSSA-C-5 CD on Soil Wetting Agents containing an overview of water repellency, its impact on water flow and its amelioration.   More effective means for prompt transfer/exchange between the research and applied communities of existing and new information on water repellency would be beneficial.   An extensive bibliography of publications and theses on water repellency has been published (Dekker et al, 2003c). Now more than 1200 publications related to water repellency exist but are not easy to access.  Construction of an electronic database on this collection has been proposed and initiated.  A society focused on water repellency in soils has also been proposed for the purpose of increasing awareness of and access to information on the subject.  Verification of interest in the information, the database, and a society on water repellency in soils are underway.

Handout (.pdf format, 1895.0 kb)