Irrigation and Water Resources


One drawback of overhead irrigation is that much water can be lost because of high winds or evaporation, and irrigating the entire field uniformly can be difficult or tedious if the system is not properly designed. Water remaining on plants' leaves may promote fungal and other diseases. If fertilizers are included in the irrigation water, plant leaves can be burned, especially on hot, sunny days.

Micro irrigation
In micro irrigation water is applied to the plants through emitters so that water leaves the emitter as a droplet. Water is supplied to the emitters through a network of mainline and literal pipelines that are normally made of plastics. A head of unit is used to regulate pressure, filter the water and add minerals. Micro-irrigation systems are immensely popular not only in arid regions and urban settings but also in sub humid and humid zones where water supplies are limited or water is expensive. In irrigated agriculture, micro-irrigation is used extensively for row crops, mulched crops, orchards, gardens, greenhouses and nurseries. In urban landscapes, micro-irrigation is widely used with ornamental plantings.

Drip irrigation

Depending on how the emitters are placed in the plastic polyethylene distribution line, the drip mode can be further delineated as a line source or a point source. The line source type emitters are placed internally in equally spaced holes or slits made along the line. Water applied from the close and equally spaced holes usually runs along the line and forms a continuous wetting pattern. This wetting pattern is suited for close row crops. The point source type emitters are attached external to the lateral pipe. The installer can select the desired location to suit the planting configuration or place them at equally spaced intervals. Water applied from the point source emitter usually forms a round deep wetting spot. The point source wetting pattern is suited for widely spaced plants in orchards, vineyards and for landscape trees or shrubs.

Localized irrigation
Water is spread in low pressure, through a piped system and supplied to each plant.

Lateral move irrigation
Water is spread through a series of pipes, each with a wheel and a set of sprinklers, which are rotated either by hand or with a purpose-built mechanism. This system is less expensive to install than a center pivot, but much more labor intensive to operate, and it is limited in the amount of water it can carry. Most systems utilize 4 or 5 inch diameter aluminum pipe. One feature of a lateral move system is that it consists of sections that can be easily disconnected. They are most often used for small or oddly-shaped fields, such as those found in hilly or mountainous regions, or in regions where labor are inexpensive.  

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