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Plant pathogen removal by managed aquifer recharge of fresh tile drainage water for safe reuse as irrigation water in salinized agricultural areas

Carina Eisfeld: Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences

<div>The project AGRIMAR investigates recycling of fresh tile drainage water (TDW) via managed aquifer recharge (MAR) technology for agricultural purposes to secure water availability. Here, the TDW is collected for storage in brackish aquifers creating a fresh water ‘bubble’ in the subsurface which gives farmers access to sufficient fresh water to irrigate their crops even in times of drought. The TDW may contain plant pathogens which could be present in the recycled water. To prevent the spread of crop diseases, the removal of selected plant pathogens during aquifer soil passage will be analysed. We focus on three plant pathogenic bacteria of high economic importance, namely<em> Ralstonia solanacearum</em>, <em>Dickeya solani</em> and <em>Pectobacterium carotovorum</em>. As a first experimental approach, we will study the survival of the selected plant pathogens under different representative aquifer conditions. Subsequently, their fate during soil passage is investigated in column experiments and finally in a MAR pilot field site in the Netherlands. The inactivation processes will be described in a mathematical model to compare the model predictions with the experimental results. We will present the outline of the research approach and the first results of batch and column experiments on the fate of these plant pathogens under representative subsurface conditions.</div>