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Water Harvesting and Recycling Ebb and Flow System in a Container Nursery

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  054060,  2005 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.19484) @2005
Authors:   Luis C. Nogueira, Dorota Z. Haman, Robert H. Stamps, Michael D. Dukes
Keywords:   Containerized plants, ornamental nursery, irrigation, water harvesting

An Outdoor Ebb and Flow System (OEFS), consisting of 13 flood plains (0.28 ha each) and a 0.42 ha, 2 m deep water-collection reservoir, was evaluated in this study. The system is suitable for large (20 liters and larger) nursery containers. The ebb and flow system collects rainwater and reuses it for subirrigation of the containers. The recycling reservoir is supplemented with groundwater when necessary. Excess water is only released during exceptionally rainy periods. System effectiveness of rainfall collection in humid areas such as Florida is presented in this paper. Rain storage efficiency was monitored for two years. During this time, 65.4% of total rainfall was harvested from the production area and stored for future use. The release of nutrients to the environment during high rainfall periods was also estimated for one year of the experiment based on the reservoir overflow and nutrient concentrations in the reservoir. The amount of rainfall that can be harvested from the flood plains depends on the timing and the amount of rainfall, and interval between consecutive events. It also depends on the size of the recycling pond in relation to the production area.

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