A cost analysis for using recycled irrigation runoff water in container nursery production: a Southern California nursery case study
Pitton, B.J. L.; Hall, C.R.; Haver, D.L.; White, S.A.; Oki, L.R.
Irrigation Science 36(4-5): 217-226
ISSN/ISBN: 0342-7188 DOI: 10.1007/s00271-018-0578-8
In the U.S., container plant growers use high-quality water sources which can be expensive. The use of recycled irrigation runoff water could save growers money. The objective of this study was to compare the cost of recycled irrigation water with the cost of untreated municipal water at a nursery in Southern California over multiple years. Water cost for municipal (Western) supplied water ranged from $2.26 to $2.91 per 1000 gallons (3785L). Water capturing and recycling system construction and infrastructure costs accounted for a large portion of recycled water cost. However, water provider rebates and a Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) grant reduced total and per volume recycled water costs. Without considering rebates from water providers and a NRCS grant, the cost of recycled water was between $0.92 and $1.21 per 1000 gallons (3785L). With consideration of rebates and the grant, the cost of recycled water ranged between $0.43 and $0.53 per 1000 gallons (3785L). Thus, recycled water is a viable alternative to many high cost water sources and public funds facilitate adoption of recycled water for irrigation by containerized plant growers.