The Benefits of Drip Irrigation
Each HESE Affordable Greenhouse is equipped with a drip irrigation system. Drip irrigation systems are proven to provide a cost-effective means for even the poorest farmers to increase their water use efficiency, growing more crops to feed their families and bring to market.
Drip irrigation is widely regarded as the most efficient method of watering crops. Utilizing drip irrigation uses as little as one third of the amount of water used for other irrigation options, such as flood irrigation.
Drip irrigation uses tubing to deliver a small volume of water directly to the roots of the plants being cultivated. This uses the bare minimum amount of water necessary to grow a full, healthy crop. In addition to water savings, the direct application of water to plant roots reduces run off, stops top soil depletion, improves fertilizer efficacy, and reduces the chance of weeds springing up in the spaces between plants.
Each drip irrigation system begins with its water source. In most cases, an elevated water tank which is filled manually as needed will be utilized, such as the example in the photo below:
Water for drip irrigation can come from wells, ponds, rivers, lakes, municipal water systems, or plastic-lined pits. Water from these various sources will have large differences in quality (1). Attached to the water tank is a filter and the PVC piping. The filter, which has a mesh screen, is easily cleaned as needed, simply by running water through it.
Attached to the PVC piping are the several drip irrigation tubes. These lines are controlled by a take-off valve, a manual ball-valve that allows farmers to specify which area of the land to irrigate.
These valves are attached to the PVC piping with a grommet to ensure water-tightness. The grommets are connected without adhesive and require no maintenance besides replacement in the unlikely event of damage.
The tubing itself is what allows for uniform water flow into the roots of the crop via precisely punched holes. The tubing requires no expensive and complex emitters, eliminating any cause for clogging or maintenance whatsoever.