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Strategies for applying gray water effluent on ornamental sunflower crops

In a context of scarcity of good quality water, reuse is a mandatory practice to increase water availability, thus allowing the exploitation of more cropland. Although several studies have evaluated the hydric potential of domestic gray water to promote the economic and environmental sustainability of agriculture, the focus of this study was to evaluate the application of this effluent on an ornamental plant, the sunflower.

The experiment was conducted in a protected environment using a completely randomized block design with split plots and four replicates. Irrigation solutions containing different mixtures of treated gray water effluent (TGW) and drinking water (DW) (100% DW, 25% TGW + 75% DW, 50% TGW + 50% DW, 75% TGW + 25% DW, and 100% TGW) were arranged in the plots, while the ornamental sunflower cultivars (Bonito de Outono Sortido and Sol Vermelho) were arranged in the split plots.

Irrigation with treated gray water did not affect the growth of the plants and the quality of the flowers until the dilution of 55% in drinking water. The cultivar Sol Vermelho showed better plant growth and flower quality when fertigated with dilutions of treated gray water. The principle of mixing fresh with gray water, applied to the production of ornamental sunflowers, allows obtaining flowers of good quality while saving drinking water and decreasing the deposition of effluents in the environment.

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