Use of winery wastewater as a resource for irrigation of vineyards in different environments.
Howell, C L
Howell, C L
The use of diluted winery wastewater has been investigated in a previous WRC and Winetech funded project (Myburgh & Howell, 2014). However, this project only addressed the suitability of using winery wastewater for grapevines in a sandy soil under one set of climatic conditions. An ongoing study (Mulidzi, unpublished data) results of a pot experiment showed that soil type and winter rainfall have a pronounced effect on salt accumulation where winery wastewater is used for irrigation. Therefore, a field study is necessary to investigate the use of winery wastewater for vineyard irrigation to determine the sustainability of such a practice in other environments. If winery wastewater could be used in a sustainable way for vineyard irrigation, it would reduce the energy used for wastewater treatment, e.g. pumping to aerate the water. The presence of plant nutrients, in particular K, in the winery wastewater could also reduce the necessity to apply K fertiliser, consequently cost of fertilization would be lower. The use of winery wastewater will also have a positive impact on grape production where water shortages occur. If possible, these savings and higher production will increase the sustainability and economic viability of viticulture. Therefore, it is necessary to investigate the use of winery wastewater for vineyard irrigation in other environments to determine under what conditions the use of winery wastewater would be sustainable, beneficial and could contribute to water conservation and use. Since climatic conditions range considerably in the Western Cape, it would be possible to investigate the effect of climatic factors such as magnitude of rainfall on the possibility of using winery wastewater for vineyard irrigation. In addition to climatic differences, there are also different soil types. Since it is well known that soil type can influence nutrient element adsorption and accumulation, it would also be possible to investigate different soil types within the same climatic zone.
The primary objective of the project will be to assess the fitness for use of winery wastewater for irrigation of different soil types with varying rainfall quantities and leaching levels on vineyard performance in terms of yield and quality under field conditions.
Howell, C, Myburgh, P, Lategan, E and Mulidzi, R. 2016. Use of winery wastewater as a resource for irrigation of vineyards in different environments. Paper presented at the Information Workshop- WRC, DWS and Winetech, 12 May, Pretoria, South Africa.
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