عنوان مقاله [English]
Increasing the production of agricultural products and income of farmers is one of the important goals of agricultural sector policy makers. But the limitations of water resources in this sector are facing serious challenges and, as a result of water resource management, has led the agricultural sector to cope with the use of alternative sources of water, especially saline waters, for the continuation of agricultural activities. In this paper, based on empirical evidence and internal and external scientific findings, the feasibility of using saline water resources in agricultural activities is discussed. The results indicate that water consumption of drainage water, considered qualitatively as non-consumable water in agriculture, can have a positive and determining effect on increasing the production and income of some agricultural products such as wheat, cotton, and forage plants, while they can provide conservation areas for fresh water resources and cultivation area development. For example, irrigation of wheat with drainage water (12 dS/m) in Golestan province (Iran) reduced wheat yield by only about 10%. Also, the composition of drainage water with a salinity of 20 dS/m with non-saline water (1 dS/m) is 50%, although the yield is reduced from 4000 kg to about 3600 kg ha-1, but by saving 50 percent of freshwater resources, a new opportunity will be created for sustainability of water resources, or to expand cultivation and increase production. Main challenges are also expressed in applying saline water resources, and suggestions for policy and proper application of these resources in the agricultural sector are presented.