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Solid Earth An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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Solid Earth, 7, 177-190, 2016
http://www.solid-earth.net/7/177/2016/
doi:10.5194/se-7-177-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
03 Feb 2016
Evaluation of promising technologies for soil salinity amelioration in Timpaki (Crete): a participatory approach
I. S. Panagea1, I. N. Daliakopoulos1, I. K. Tsanis1,2, and G. Schwilch3 1School of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Crete, Chania, Greece
2Department of Civil Engineering, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
3Centre for Development and Environment, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
Abstract. Soil salinity management can be complex, expensive, and time demanding, especially in arid and semi-arid regions. Besides taking no action, possible management strategies include amelioration and adaptation measures. Here we apply the World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT) framework for the systematic analysis and evaluation and selection of soil salinisation amelioration technologies in close collaboration with stakeholders. The participatory approach is applied in the RECARE (Preventing and Remediating degradation of soils in Europe through Land Care) project case study of Timpaki, a semi-arid region in south-central Crete (Greece) where the main land use is horticulture in greenhouses irrigated by groundwater. Excessive groundwater abstractions have resulted in a drop of the groundwater level in the coastal part of the aquifer, thus leading to seawater intrusion and in turn to soil salinisation. The documented technologies are evaluated for their impacts on ecosystem services, cost, and input requirements using a participatory approach and field evaluations. Results show that technologies which promote maintaining existing crop types while enhancing productivity and decreasing soil salinity are preferred by the stakeholders. The evaluation concludes that rainwater harvesting is the optimal solution for direct soil salinity mitigation, as it addresses a wider range of ecosystem and human well-being benefits. Nevertheless, this merit is offset by poor financial motivation making agronomic measures more attractive to users.

Citation: Panagea, I. S., Daliakopoulos, I. N., Tsanis, I. K., and Schwilch, G.: Evaluation of promising technologies for soil salinity amelioration in Timpaki (Crete): a participatory approach, Solid Earth, 7, 177-190, doi:10.5194/se-7-177-2016, 2016.
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Short summary
The application of a participatory approach towards sustainable solutions against the soil salinisation threat in arid environments is described. Three sustainable land management (SLM) technologies are evaluated using the WOCAT framework. This work presents considerations for the adoption of SLM practices and insights into the stakeholder preferences for the selection of available and new amelioration methods, and it hints on how a participatory learning process can raise awareness.
The application of a participatory approach towards sustainable solutions against the soil...
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