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Irrigation Systems.

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Presentation on theme: "Irrigation Systems."— Presentation transcript:

1 Irrigation Systems

2 Rainwater Most farmers in the world depend solely
on seasonal rains to water their crops

3 Rainwater Advantages: Disadvantages: No labor required Free
No technology or equipment required Disadvantages: Not suitable for all crops in all climates A dry year can severely lessen yields or loose an entire crop Bad droughts and lead to little or no income and/or famine

4 Hand Watering Watering individual plants by hand
Usually involved hauling buckets, watering cans or a hose

5 Hand Watering Advantages: Disadvantages:
Minimal and low-tech equipment needed Very cheap Water applied directly to plants Disadvantages: Labor intensive Inefficient for watering a large amount of land Slow

6 Surface or Flood Irrigation
Water moves over and across the land by simple gravity flow This has been the most common method of irrigating agricultural land

7 Surface or Flood Irrigation
Advantages: Relatively small investment on low-tech equipment Simple to understand Disadvantages: Labor intensive High maintenance Can lead to water-logging and soil salinity if there is not adequate drainage Won’t work well on uneven surfaces

8 Sprinkler Water is piped in and distributed by overhead high- pressure sprinklers or guns from a central location in the field or from sprinklers on moving platforms

9 Sprinkler Advantages: Disadvantages: Even distribution of water
Unaffected by uneven land surfaces Ability to apply fertilizers and herbicides through the system Less labor required Disadvantages: Can cause crusting of soil surface Strongly affected by windy conditions High maintenance requirements Initial investments can be high Wet foliage is susceptible to disease Up t0 50% of water can be lost to evaporation before plants absorb it

10 Center Pivot Water is distributed by a system of sprinklers that move on wheeled towers in a circular pattern This system is common in flat areas of the United States

11 Center Pivot Advantages: Disadvantages: Even distribution of water
Ability to apply fertilizers and herbicides through the system Covers a large area with less sprinkler heads Low labor Disadvantages: Can cause crusting of soil surface and soil erosion Strongly affected by windy conditions High maintenance requirements Expensive to setup and fix Technical knowledge of system required

12 Lateral Move Irrigation
Water is distributed from a main hose through a series of pipes, each with a wheel and a set of sprinklers After an area has been sufficiently watered the system is moved across the field either by hand mechanically

13 Lateral Move Irrigation
Advantages: Similar to center pivot irrigation Lower input costs than center pivot Disadvantages: Also similar to center pivot irrigation Higher labor requirements than center pivot

14 Drip Irrigation also known as trickle irrigation
Water is delivered near the plants roots, drop by drop

15 Drip Irrigation Advantages:
Ability to irrigate irregularly shaped fields Minimal soil erosion Highly efficient and conserves water Reduced risk of disease from wet foliage Waters only root zone of plants Less soil crusting and weeds Less water lost to evaporation

16 Drip Irrigation Disadvantages: Very expensive investment
Initial setup is labor and time intensive Post-season cleanup required Uses lots of plastic Can result in seed germination problems Requires sediment-free water

17 Drip Irrigation Used since ancient times when buried clay pots were filled with water, which would gradually seep into the grass Modern drip irrigation began its development in Afghanistan in 1886 with clay pipes The advent of modern plastic allowed for vast improvements in tubing Plastic emitters and modern drip irrigation was developed in Israel by Simcha Blass

18 Drip Irrigation Drip irrigation is a sustainable solution in many, BUT not all agricultural applications. Ideal for watering landscapes, vegetable crops, orchards and vineyards. Not ideal for large field crop production such as alfalfa or soybeans. Greatly reduces the overall amount of water used by supplying water only where the plants can use it

19 What is the Best? Irrigation method used depends on : Crop being grown
Topography Region Climate Water availability Available money and labor

20 Sustainable Water Practices

21 Don’t Lose to Evaporation
When crops are irrigated by overhead sprinklers nearly 50% of the water is lost to evaporation before it is absorbed by the plants. Even when watered with drip irrigation water evaporates faster than it is absorbed. Evaporation is caused by the sun hitting and heating water molecules. Watering plants in the early mornings or late afternoon/evening when the sun is not shining will greatly reduce water lost to evaporation

22 Mulch Magic Mulch is a protective cover placed over soil to help retain moisture…as well as reduce erosion and suppress weeds. Mulching provides a more natural environment for plants by mimicking leaves that pile up on the forest floor. Materials: Organic mulches include yard clippings, leaves, straw, shredded tree bark, sawdust and compost Synthetic mulches such as rubber from recycled tires and plastic sheeting

23 Mulch Magic

24 Swales A Swale is a ditch on the contour of a hillside.
It does not direct water, but rather holds it and allows it to gradually infiltrate the soil down-slope of it. Soil and water run-off are caught in the swale, which becomes a fertile area. Gradual infiltration of water and nutrients in the swale slowly improve soil structure down-slope.

25 Swales How a swale works:
Swale Plume Example of what can be accomplished with swales: Greening the Desert Click on hyper link to watch videos

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