Tag: drip irrigation payback

WATER EFFICIENCY EQUATION: Reducing Use Per Unit Gaining Traction

With California now firmly entrenched in its fourth drought year in a row, the irrigation industry is rightly focused on water efficiency.

Paul McFadden, who is senior sales manager for Toro Micro-Irrigation, El Cajon, CA, said while the focus is clear, that doesn’t always mean using less water. “It’s an equation: units of input vs. units of output.”

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Subsurface Drip Irrigation Isn’t Rocket Science – But It Requires Management

subsurface drip irrigationWith drought gripping much of the Great Plains and western states, and with groundwater reserves declining and water regulations increasing, growers and their CCAs are finding ways to get more crop per drop with precision irrigation.

Starting in 1993, CCA Bill Cox, agricultural consultant at CoxCo Ag Services in Las Cruces, NM, has helped his clients convert thousands of acres of center-pivot irrigation to the more water-efficient subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) systems, in which buried drip lines below the soil surface deliver water and nutrients directly to the plant’s root zone with minimal losses to surface evaporation or deep percolation.

With SDI, Cox’s growers are able to sharply reduce waste compared with other irrigation systems like furrow and center-pivot irrigation. That enables his growers to put more water to use for crop production, he says. But don’t confuse water use efficiency with water conservation, Cox stresses. The goal isn’t necessarily to use less water, but to get more production with the water that you have.

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