Advantages and Features of the Drip or Trickle Irrigation System

Advantages and Features  of the Drip or Trickle Irrigation System

Advantages and Features  of the Drip or Trickle Irrigation System

Drip Irrigation is the most structured system to deliver water and nutrient to the growing crop This Drip system supplies water and nutrients directly to the plant root zone at right time and in the right quantity as per the need of the plant to grow.

How Drip system works ;

1) This system involves the slow application of water, drop by drop, to the root zone of a crop. 
2) The equipment consists of a pumping unit to create a pressure of about 2.5 kg/sq cm, pipelines which may be of PVC tubing with drip type nozzles or emitters, and a filter unit to remove the suspended impurities in the water. 
3)The amount of water dripping from the nozzles can be regulated, as desired, by varying the pressure at the nozzles, and the size of the orifice of the nozzles. 
4) Water may be lifted and distributed through overhead pipelines which are fitted with nipples to drop or trickle water to the desired site or water may be held at a certain height from where it passes to the orifice which is impregnated into the root zone. 
6) Water supply may be continuous or intermittent. In this method, water is used very economically, since losses due to deep percolation and surface evaporation are reduced to the minimum. 
7) This method is, therefore, very suited to arid regions. 
8)The successful growing of orchards even on saline soils has been made possible by the drip system of irrigation. 
9)The system can be used for applying fertilizers in the solution.

Drip System Layout;

Advantages and Features  of the Drip or Trickle Irrigation System

Major Components of Drip Irrigation System


Pump station.


Pressure gauge




Mains / Sub-mains


Control Valve




Filtration system


Emitting devices


Fertilizer tank /Venturi



Suitable crops for Drip Irrigation System;


Orchard Crops

Grapes, Banana, Pomegranate, Orange,

Citrus, Mango, Lemon, Custard Apple, Sapota, 

Guava, Pineapple, Coconut, Cashewnut,

Papaya, Aonla, Litchi, Watermelon,

Muskmelon etc.



Tomato, Chilly, Capsicum, Cabbage,

Cauliflower, Onion, Okra, BrinjalBitter Gourd,

Ridge Gourd, Cucumber, Peas, Spinach,

Pumpkin etc.


Cash Crops

Sugarcane, Cotton. Arecanut, Strawberry etc.



Rose, Carnation, Gerbera, Anthurium,


Orchids, Jasmine, Dahlia, Marigold, etc.



Tea, Rubber, Coffee, Coconut, etc.



Turmeric, Cloves, Mint etc,


Oil Seed

Sunflower, Oil palm, Groundnut, etc.


Forest Crops

Teakwood, Bamboo, etc.

How the Different Crop Response under Drip Irrigation System ;


Advantages and disadvantages of drip irrigation ;

A) Advantages:
1) Drip irrigation system minimizes the losses of fertilizer and nutrient loss due to localized application It also reduced leaching.
2) It enhances the water application efficiency under well-managed conditions.
3) Leveling of the field is not so important under the drip irrigation system.
4) Under the drip irrigation system the fields that possess irregular shapes can be easily accommodated.
5) Use of recycled non-potable water is very safe in Drip irrigation.
6) Moisture levels within the root zone can be maintained at field capacity.
7) Soil type has no role in the frequency of irrigation.
8) It reduces the loss of soil due to erosion.
9) It suppresses weed growth.
10) Under drip irrigation the water distribution process is highly uniform and the output of each nozzle 
can be easily controlled. 
11) Labor cost in a drip irrigation system is quite less in comparison to the other irrigation methods.
12) Water supply can be easily regulated by regulating the valves and drippers.
13) Fertigation can easily be performed without waste fertilizers.
14) In the Drip irrigation system there is less chance of disease occurrence because most of the time foliage remains dry
15) Drip irrigation systems usually work under lower pressure in comparison to other types of pressurized irrigation hence it reduces the cost of energy.
B) Disadvantages:
1) Initial cost can be more than sprinkler systems.
2) The high temperatures during the summer can affect the tubes used for drip irrigation, shortening their usable life.
3) C
logging may take place due to poor filtration of water and the  improper maintenance of the equipment

4) under a sub-surface drip system, the irrigator cannot visualize the amount of water is applied to the crop. and hence there is a chance of under-irrigation or over-irrigation
5) Drip irrigation plays zero role in herbicides spray or top-dressed fertilizers for this there is a need for sprinkler irrigation
6) In the drip irrigation system tape causes extra cleanup costs after each harvest. Farmers are required to plan for drip tape winding, disposal, recycling, or reuse.
7) If the drip irrigation is not installed properly there is a more chance of waste of water, time, and harvest. Therefore drip irrigation systems need a careful study of all the important factors Viz; land topography, soil type, water, crop, and agro-climatic conditions, and suitability of drip irrigation system and its components.
8) In the case of lighter soils subsurface drip irrigation system may not be able to wet the soil surface for germination. Hence it requires careful consideration in contrast to the installation depth of the system.
9) Drip systems are designed for high-efficiency uses, hence there is little or no leaching fraction. In the absence of sufficient leaching, salts applied with the irrigation water may be accumulated in the root zone, most commonly at the edge of the wetting pattern. While on the other hand, drip irrigation systems avoid the high capillary potential of traditional surface-applied irrigation, which can draw salt deposits up from deposits below.
10) Damage of the PVC pipes is often occurred due to rodent activity, and the replacement of the entire damaged tube increases the expenses.
11) Drip irrigation systems are useless for controlling the damage that occurred due to the tonight frosts (like in the case of sprinkler irrigation systems)
Pitcher Method of drip irrigation ; 
Porous pitchers may be inserted near the pit or pocket or base of the plant. The pitcher is then filled with water and covered with a lid and sealed temporarily. Water that comes out of the pitcher irrigates the root zone of the crop. The pitcher is then refilled. Such pitcher irrigation is the most important and easy method of applying water in arid and semi-arid zones with light soil and wide-spaced crops such as cucurbits or orchards. The same pitcher may be installed three to five times of seasonal cropping.

Other methods of irrigation;

(a) Fertigation: When fertilizer is diluted with irrigation water and applied to the soil. In water culture or hyponica nutrients are in suitable proportion as per the requirement dissolved in water and slow flow is maintained to supply water easy method of applying water and nutrient to plants
(b) Organic Irrigation; Liquid manure from livestock housing is processed, diluted, and applied as irrigation water to a number of crops including forage 
(c) Irrigation with sewage effluent: The liquid part of sewage from municipal or industrial wastes is specially treated and diluted before irrigation. This practice not only reduces the hazards of pollution but also helps in recycling organic wastes and water to convert into wealth.

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