Successful Cultivation of Salicornia brachiata – A Sea Asparagus Utilizing RO Reject Water: A Sustainable Solution

Aneesha Singh, Saroj Sharma and Mukesh T Shah

Reverse Osmosis (RO) is an effective technique to get potable water from brackish water. However, disposal of the high TDS reject RO water is a concern. The conventional methods used for disposal of RO reject water are expensive and not environmental friendly. Herein, the present study is an attempt to grow Salicornia brachiata using RO reject water; this approach provides a sustainable solution for utilizing RO reject water. The optimum plant growth was observed when irrigated with RO reject water (A-type) having TDS of 26511-27102 ppm. Additionally, the biomass of plants was found moderately better when treated with A-type reject water compared to the plants irrigated with high saline water (sea water) having TDS of similar range i.e., 27511-28010 ppm TDS. The highest values of succulence (phylloclade diameter) coincide with the growth optimum. The optimum inflorescence length was noted in A-type RO reject water and sea water treated plants. The moisture content in the plants was insignificantly different at different TDS. On the other hand, the short height plants were developed with less number of branches and biomass, when treated with A-type RO reject water having F concentration of 25 and 50 mg/L, The test results of phylloclade for F- was found in the range of 0.09-0.12 mg/100 gm DW indicates that S. brachiata is F- tolerant plant. Therefore, the finding suggest that cultivating S. brachiata plant as a vegetable in greenhouse using RO reject water with and without F- is potential as well as environmental friendly solution for reject water management.