About this guide

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The Salinity Management Guide's nine instructional modules are grouped into four categories: a learning group, an assessment group, a design-oriented group, and a problem-solving group:

Learn about salinity (3 modules)

  • Learn about salinity and water quality
  • Learn about the effects of salt on plants
  • Learn about salt in the root zone

Get to know your site (2 modules)

  • Describe your site
  • Determine whether salinity is a problem

Design a landscape (3 modules)

  • Estimate the water needs of landscape plants
  • Select an irrigation system
  • Choose salt-tolerant plants

Solve a problem (1 module)

  • Solve a problem related to plants, water, or soil

A tenth module, consisting of several lists of supplemental references, occupies its own, fifth category.

Other information (1 module)

  • Exploring other sources of information

Any of the three modules in the learning group is a good place to begin reading. You can, however, start at any module, and you can jump easily from one module to another.

The factual information and practical tips provided within each instructional module are drawn from a variety of reliable sources. Some of the sources are cited in the closing pages of the modules. Other sources are cited in the reference-oriented module.

About the writing and layout team

The Salinity Management Guide was prepared by a team consisting of three writer-editors and one artist:

  • Kenneth K. Tanji, professor emeritus, University of California at Davis
  • Larry Rollins, technical writer and editor, Davis, California
  • Pat Suyama, writer and editor, Davis, California
  • Craig Farris, artist and Web specialist, Davis, California

Dr. Tanji is an expert on agricultural salinity and other aspects of water and soil chemistry. He has over 50 years of experience performing research, directing research projects, writing research papers, and helping to organize and conduct symposia and conferences. On this project, Dr. Tanji served as principal investigator, part-time writer, and part-time technical reviewer.

Mr. Rollins has 16 years of experience as a technical writer and editor. Earlier in his career, he worked as a hydrologist and engineer, specializing in groundwater and geochemistry. For this project, he wore several hats: documentation planner, writer, editor, photo editor, and team coordinator. Serving almost daily throughout the project’s 20-month duration (the only full-time team member), he admits to having relied on numerous late-night push sessions to make his deadlines.

Ms. Suyama has 28 years of experience as a writer, editor, and journalist. Early in her career she worked for The Sacramento Bee, the University of California at Berkeley, Harper & Row, and McGraw-Hill. For the past ten years she has been working as a report writer and editor for a small company that helps people recover from brain injuries. On this project, Ms. Suyama served as part-time writer, editor, and reviewer. To do the work, she donated many hours of time during her evenings and weekends.

Mr. Farris has worked for over 20 years as an artist, graphic designer, and Web developer. A graduate of the Fine Arts program at the University of California at Davis, he has worked extensively both in traditional artistic media and digital media. Already busy in his job as electronic communications specialist and Webmaster for UC Davis, Mr. Farris graciously agreed to serve as our page designer and HTML expert.

Team assignments for each module were as follows:

Module Writer Editor Web developer Reviewer
Learn About Salinity and Water Quality Rollins Suyama Farris Tanji, Suyama
Learn About the Effects of Salt on Plants Suyama Rollins Farris Tanji, Rollins
Learn About Salt in the Root Zone Tanji Rollins Farris Rollins
Describe Your Site Rollins, assisted by Suyama Rollins Farris Suyama, Rollins
Determine Whether Salinity is a Problem Rollins, assisted by Suyama Rollins Farris Suyama, Rollins
Estimate the Water Needs of Landscape Plants Suyama, assisted by Rollins Rollins Farris Tanji, Rollins
Select an Irrigation System Suyama Rollins Farris Rollins, Tanji
Choose Salt-Tolerant Plants Rollins Suyama Farris Suyama, Tanji
Solve a Problem Related to Salinity Tanji Rollins Farris Rollins, Suyama
Exploring Other Information Sources Rollins, assisted by Suyama Rollins Farris Suyama, Tanji

The cumulative production effort required to complete the project exceeds 3,600 hours. That figure includes more than 2,300 hours by Mr. Rollins, an estimated 900 hours by Ms. Suyama, an estimated 240 hours by Dr. Tanji, and 230 hours by Mr. Farris.

About the photographs

About half of the 215 photographs in the Salinity Management Guide were provided by Mr. Rollins, either from his own collection of images or from the Art Explosion image library by Nova Development Corporation, Calabasas, California. A few others were obtained from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA–NRCS) or from the U.S. Salinity Laboratory.

For the module titled Solve a problem, Dr. Tanji obtained 101 photos by horticulturists, salinity researchers, and turfgrass experts. Many of those photos were acquired from the Media Library at the University of California’s Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR). Others were acquired directly from the experts.

All photos in the Salinity Management Guide are used by permission. Sources are credited within or at the end of three modules: Learn about salt in the root zone, Select an irrigation system, and Solve a problem. All photos used in the other seven modules were provided by Mr. Rollins or are in the public domain, and so individual credits are not provided.

For further information about permissions for photos, see the copyrights page.

About the illustrations

Twenty-six drawings and graphs appear in the Salinity Management Guide. All but two of those illustrations were sketched by Mr. Rollins or Dr. Tanji and subsequently redrawn by Mr. Farris. One of the two exceptions is the two-dimensional map of salinity by Hanson and Bendixon that appears in the module Learn about salt in the root zone. It was obtained from ANR and is used as received (it was not redrawn). The other exception is the graph of SAR versus EC that appears in the modules Learn about salinity and Decide whether salinity is a problem. Though redrawn in color, it is based on a similar graph from a report by Ayers and Westcot and published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Both the salinity map and the graph are reprinted here by permission.

About broken links

As anyone familiar with the World Wide Web already knows, the Web is far from a static medium. It’s ever-changing, and a hyperlink to an article or a report housed on a website can become incorrect over time as the references are moved by the people who manage those sites.

All Web-related hyperlinks cited in the Salinity Management Guide were double-checked and found to be active as of the date of publication. However, some of those links may eventually become inactive.

Sometimes, editing a broken link to make it shorter will lead you to a parent folder containing the information you’re looking for. Just as often, however, it doesn’t. For such situations, a fresh search via Google or Yahoo may yield what you are seeking.


The information provided in the Salinity Management Guide was obtained from sources believed to be reliable, as verified by dint of reasonable effort. However, neither the sponsoring agencies nor the authors can guarantee the information’s accuracy and comprehensiveness. Moreover, neither the sponsoring agencies nor the authors are responsible for any errors, omissions, or damages arising from use of the information. It should be understood that the authors are providing information, not professional services. If such services are needed, the assistance of an appropriate professional should be sought.

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