What is a drip irrigation system?
Drip irrigation is a very efficient method to apply water as well as nutrients to cultivated land.
A drip irrigation systems involves six main elements:
- Water delivery or distribution system: it contains the main line going into the field, pipelines, drip lines, and couplings that connect the drip lines to the pipelines.
- Filters: they prevent debris from entering the system so that the drip system delivers clean water. Sand separators, screen filters, and disk filters are used.
- Pressure regulators: they reduce the pressure in the main line to the pressure of the drip lines.
- Valves and gauges: they control the flow of water to the different crop areas. Water meter gauges measure the amount of water used and the flow of water in the irrigation system.
- Chemical injectors: they allow chemigation or delivery of fertilizers and pesticides to the plants, as well as anti-clogging agents.
- System controllers.
Drip irrigation systems have the following characteristics:
- Lower volume of water used in comparison with sprinkler irrigation.
- Lower energy costs of pumping.
- High levels of water use efficiency.
- Lower manpower and operation costs and extensive automation.
- Better weed control.
- Efficient fertilizer application through the drip system.
- Water filtration is sometimes necessary to prevent clogging the small holes of drip nozzles.