International Journal of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development

International Journal of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development ISSN 3254-5428 Vol. 5 (4), pp. 556-563, April, 2017. © International Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Effects of underground water on soil salinity and dates production in Kebili oases area (Tunisia): The case of El Bahaier oasis

1Habib Ben Hassine, 1Achwak Ben Slimane,  2Mohamed Mlawah, 1Lassaad Albouchi and 2Ammar Gandouzi

1University of Carthage, Graduate School of Agriculture of Mograne, 1121 Mograne, Tunisia, 2Service of soils, CRDA Kebili, Tunisia.

*Corresponding author E-mail: habib.benhassine10@gmail.com

Accepted 17 July, 2013

Abstract

The risks of increase of the level of the salted underground water and its salinization effect on the soils in oasis creations are inescapable because of their altitude which is very close to that of the next salted depressions. To control this phenomenon, some monitoring points called piezometers were installed in these perimeters, among them the one of El Bahaier located at the north of Kébili city in Tunisia and being the subject of the follow-up of the current study. Two measurement operations of the level of the underground table and its salinity were carried out in the functional piezometers of this oasis in March and April 2011; in parallel, two series of soils samples were taken around these same piezometers on a depth of 1 meter. The determination of the salinity of these soils samples showed that the most waterlogged zones are those which are salinized explaining as well as the increase of the underground water level is a principal cause of the soils salinization in these zones known by their high potential evapotranspiration and very weak rainfall. This observation is confirmed by the correlation tests between various couples of parameters, where the correlation coefficient r was generally high and significant. Moreover, the effect of the waterlogging and the soils salinity on the output of the principal culture practiced in this perimeter, the date palm (Phœnixdactilifera), was highly significant. The improvement, the clearing out and the cleaning of the drains are necessary to push the level of in-depth subsoil water more and to relieve the trees of its negative effect on their production.  However, an optimal level of this water table located at 2 meters of depth would be more beneficial on the yield.

Keywords: Groundwater, soil, oasis, salinization, waterlogging, Tunisia.