Recycled and Desalinated Water

As water resources dwindle and urban popluations increase, use of recycled and desalinated water for landscape irrigation is expanding. Recycled and desalinated water commonly contain salts that can damage sensitive plants and degrade soil if not managed properly.


Since the 1980's, HortScience, Inc. has been evaluating recycled water quality and the effects on landscape plants and soils. We start with a comprehensive site evaluation - including water quality assessment, soil profile investigation, soil analyses, irrigation assessment, and plant species inventory. Then we describe how to prepare the site, select tolerant plants, and manage the landscape.


With proper site design, soil preparation, and management techniques, successful and attractive landscape can be maintained with recycled or desalinated water.


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Regulatory requirements for water quality are aimed at protecting human and wildlife health and may not be adequate to protect sensitive plant species from damage.

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