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This Bulletin forms a companion volume to Soils Bulletin No. 31 ‘Prognosis of salinity and alkalinity’ published in 1976. In order to meet the need for more food to sustain the world’s increasing population, the reclamation and development of new land resources is becoming imperative.

Large areas of land are available for cultivation in the arid and semi-arid regions provided that irrigation can be made feasible, but much of this land has the constraint of actual or potential salinity or sodicity. In some parts of the world land that was once agriculturally productive has been abandoned due to induced salinity which can occur through mismanagement and incorrect irrigation practices. Thus, in order to utilize or re-utilize such land, it is necessary first to correct the deleterious conditions of salinity or sodicity and, secondly, to introduce management practices that will prevent their recurrence.

The urgency and seriousness of the problem have been recognized at various national and international fora, resulting in not a few publications. In the meantime, information has been gathered from experience and this bulletin describes and discusses the problems of actual and potential salinity and sodicity and gives advice on how to overcome them. It is made clear that given the motivation and the means, including adequate irrigation water, salinity and sodicity hazards can be overcome thus making available considerable areas of land for irrigated cultivation.

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