On-farm evaluation of low-pressure drip irrigation system for smallholders
H. Mostafa, H.-H. Thörmannhttps://doi.org/10.17221/29/2012-SWRCitation:Mostafa H., Thörmann H.-. (2013): On-farm evaluation of low-pressure drip irrigation system for smallholders. Soil & Water Res., 8: 87-95.
The aim of this paper was to evaluate the performance of a low-pressure drip system (LPS) for three years of service, to calculate the consumptive working time and costs of maintenance and laterals retrieving before harvesting and to determine benefits and problems with drip irrigation. Drip irrigation provides the opportunity to save water and the potential to increase net income by applying water at the right quantity and at the right time. Small to medium fields would benefit from the LPS irrigation system which has the ability to distribute the amount of water applied. LPS is a well-researched system for drip irrigation, typically that available for furrow irrigated crops. There are significant agronomic advantages of using a low-pressure, low-flow drip system. These advantages translate into measured improved distribution uniformity when compared to flood irrigated crops and energy savings compared to flood and sprinkler irrigated crops. The old (reused) drip line leads to a decrease in distribution uniformity and an increase in costs, when the distribution uniformity decreased by 10.5 and 21.6% for reusing the laterals in the second and third year, respectively. Moreover, the cost of repairing laterals was more than 5 and 6.5 times higher for both the 2nd and 3rd season. Many disadvantages of drip lines retrieval can be observed, because labour and maintenance are more intensive; there is a risk of mechanical damage to laterals especially if they are reused; increased management skills and experience are needed; and increased retrieval costs arise season after season.Keywords:
low head system; maintenance; performance; retrieving