A properly managed and designed drip irrigation has many advantages over traditional drip irrigation methods, including: eliminating surface runoff, a more uniform distribution of water, higher water usage efficiency, gaining flexibility in fertilization, preventing the growth of weeds and plant disease. Fertigation systems also allow easy integration with Drip systems and automation.
Normally, irrigation water is applied by flooding or sprinklers to the entire field resulting in a significant loss of water. Drip system irrigation (or trickle irrigation) is a modern watering method in which water is delivered directly into the root zone of the plant.
These types of systems use low pressure and low flow rates and water is applied only to specific zones in the field, where vegitation are grown. Drip emitter flow rates are typically 0.6 – 16 L/hr (0.16-4.0 gal/hr), and the most commonly used emitters are of 1-4 L/hr.
Emitter Spacing and Number
Two major factors affecting the selection of the correct combination are the physical characteristics of the soil and the water requirements of the vegitation.
Drip emitters create different sub-soil wetting patterns in different soil types.
The texture of the soil determines the vertical and horizontal distribution of water in it.
In sandy soils, water will tend to spread more vertically, while in clay soils, there will be a considerable lateral movement, resulting in a larger radius of the wetted zone.