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|Advantages and Disadvantages of Drip Irrigation
Drip Irrigation is a kind of micro irrigation system that saves water but at the same time ensures that water reaches the roots of the plants. It works to drip slowly. Drip Irrigation can work from both above or under the surface of the soil. It works effectively to ensure that all your plants get what they need.
Advantages of Drip Irrigation System
Due to improper water supply, fertilizers and nutrients cannot reach the roots of every plant. Drip Irrigation system helps it to reach effectively.
If you want to gain efficiency in water application, then installing the Drip Irrigation system is a must.
Field leveling is done by installing this type of irrigation system. When your field is evenly leveled you can plant properly.
Whatever your field capacity is, they need moisture. Roots should be hydrated.
Soil erosion and weed growth are reduced.
Water distribution can be controlled. According to the necessity, water is produced to every root.
You do not any helping hand to water your plants anymore. So Drip Irrigation also confirms zero labor cost.
It is a low-cost process that can also be done in low water pressure.
Disadvantages of Drip Irrigation System
The installation process needs time. Sometimes may need court approval in some lands.
Sun heat affects tubes, sometimes they get broken for excessive heat production.
Plastic tubes affect soils fertility. Sun degrades plastic sometimes and that affect soil and fertilizers too.
Tubes get clogged sometimes. Water cannot pass through and roots get dehydrated.
If Drip Irrigation is not installed properly, then it is a waste of time, water and heat.
Micro-irrigation: The way ahead for sustainable agriculture
India is facing the twin challenge of water scarcity and population explosion. The ongoing water crisis has affected nearly 600 million people and is expected to only worsen: The country's population is touted to increase to 1.6 billion by 2050.
The agriculture sector is the largest consumer of water in India. It accounts for approximately 90 per cent of 761,000 billion litres of annual freshwater withdrawals in the country. Per capita consumption of water in agriculture sector ranges from 4,913 to 5,800 kilolitre per capita per year.
Agriculture may have to face the brunt: Water would be diverted to other sectors and agriculture would have to make its peace with lesser and poorer quality of water.
Climate change too has aggravated water scarcity concerns: It can, through its impact on weather patterns, affect livelihoods and well-being of our farming community.
The impact of climate change is much more evident in Indian agriculture, where around 85 per cent farmers are small and marginal and 60 per cent agriculture is dependent upon the vagaries of monsoon. The role of irrigation, therefore, takes the front seat.
The continued irrigation through traditional practices since the introduction of Green revolution in the 1960's, however, has begun to show its multitudinous ill effects on groundwater quality and height, water logging, soil salinity, soil health, crop productivity, partial factor productivity and cost economics of farm practices.
This is where micro-irrigation assumes significance.
Micro-irrigation gained prevalence when the Parliament was rocked with issue of farmer suicides. Sensing the significance and probable benefits of the process to double the farmers' income along with agricultural sustainability and environmental quality, the Union government launched a comprehensive flagship programme called Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana or “more crop per drop”.
Under the programme, financial assistance of up to 55 per cent is available for small and marginal farmers and 45 per cent for other farmers for adoption of micro-irrigation systems. The funding pattern between the Union governments and the state government's share since November 2015 has been 60:40 for all states except the North East and the Himalayan states, for which the funding pattern is 90:10.
Micro-irrigation can increase yields and decrease water, fertiliser and labour requirements. By applying water directly to the root zone, the practice reduces loss of water through conveyance, run-off, deep percolation and evaporation.
These losses are unavoidable in traditional irrigation practices; micro-irrigation, through its water-saving approach, has paved the way for higher water use efficiency of around 75-95 per cent.
Another resource saving practice possible through micro-irrigation is fertigation, which comprises combining water and fertiliser application through irrigation. Fertigation results in balanced nutrient application, reduced fertiliser requirement of around 7 to 42 per cent (thus, saving expenditure cost incurred by farmer), higher nutrient uptake and nutrient use efficiency.
It is quite apparent that in the present scenario, vertical expansion of agricultural lands is not possible. Therefore, in order to increase the yield and productivity, we have to focus on degraded and waste lands.
Micro-irrigation provides this opportunity. A national-level survey undertaken for the Union government showed that farmers were able to bring 519.43 hectares of degraded land under cultivation through the technique. It also helped use saline water for irrigation without causing salinity or osmotic stress to plants.
Watering Your Lawn: Drip vs. Spray Irrigation
Proper irrigation is essential for maintaining lawn and garden health. But many homeowners are confused about irrigation options. If you're comparing in-ground watering systems, the following tips may help.
First, choosing between drip watering and spray irrigation is a basic decision you will have to make. The choice should depend on factors such as the size of your lawn, the plants you wish to grow, and your budget. While spray irrigation systems are more commonly seen, you should consider the advantages of drip irrigation before making a final decision.
In general, spray irrigation systems are better for covering larger areas. Typically these areas are home to plants that do not have very precise water requirements. Drip irrigation, on the other hand, tends to be more precise in administering particular quantities of water over a given period of time. It can also work better when you need to irrigate a plot of land that is not flat. While drip irrigation systems deliver water directly onto the ground, spray systems disperse water into the air over an expanse of land so that it falls down in the same manner as rainwater.
Spray irrigation systems can be easier to move around and relocate, and their installation does not typically require as much work as a drip irrigation system. Permanent spray irrigation systems can be installed with buried water lines, and they can regularly deliver large quantities of water to your plants.
One disadvantage of spray irrigation is an increased risk of overwatering plants and bringing about problems caused by excessive moisture, such as the growth of fungi.
One major advantage of drip irrigation systems is their increased efficiency in terms of water usage. Drip irrigation systems lose less water to evaporation and runoff than spray systems. This can be important in very dry areas where drought is a constant possibility. Drip irrigation delivers water slowly and directly, and most drip irrigation systems put you in precise control over how much water your plants are getting.
On the downside, installation of a drip line irrigation system can be cumbersome, time-consuming, and costly. Drip lines often require a water pump, and they need to be maintained at a certain pressure to ensure the water continues to flow through the system. Drip lines can present hazards due to the fact that they require a line to rest about the ground, creating the potential to trip people walking in a yard or obstruct equipment such as mowers and trimmers.
In order to choose the best possible irrigation system for your yard, do your research before making a decision. Contact our team of expert landscape designers and irrigation professionals. We're happy to answer any questions you have.
Irrigation water as a source of drinking water: is safe use possible?
Background: In arid and semi-arid countries there are often large areas where groundwater is brackish and where people have to obtain water from irrigation canals for all uses, including domestic ones. An alternative to drawing drinking water directly from irrigation canals or village water reservoirs is to use the water that has seeped from the irrigation canals and irrigated fields and that has formed a small layer of fresh water on top of the brackish groundwater. The objective of this study was to assess whether use of irrigation seepage water for drinking results in less diarrhoea than direct use of irrigation water and how irrigation water management would impact on health.
Methods: The study was undertaken in an irrigated area in the southern Punjab, Pakistan. Over a one-year period, drinking water sources used and diarrhoea episodes were recorded each day for all individuals of 200 households in 10 villages. Separate surveys were undertaken to collect information on hygiene behaviour, sanitary facilities, and socio-economic status.
Results: Seepage water was of much better quality than surface water, but this did not translate into less diarrhoea. This could only be partially explained by the generally poor quality of water in the in-house storage vessels, reflecting considerable in-house contamination of drinking water. Risk factors for diarrhoea were absence of a water connection and water storage facility, lack of a toilet, low standard of hygiene, and low socio-economic status. The association between water quality and diarrhoea varied by the level of water availability and the presence or absence of a toilet. Among people having a high quantity of water available and a toilet, the incidence rate of diarrhoea was higher when surface water was used for drinking than when seepage water was used (relative risk 1.68; 95% CI 1.31-2.15). For people with less water available the direction of the association between water quality and diarrhoea was different (relative risk 0.80; 95% CI 0.69-0.93). This indicates that good quality drinking water provides additional health benefits only when sufficient quantities of water and a toilet are available. In a multivariate analysis no association was found between water quality and diarrhoea but there was a significant effect of water quantity on diarrhoea which was to a large extent mediated through sanitation and hygiene behaviour.
Conclusions: Increasing the availability of water in the house by having a household connection and a storage facility is the most important factor associated with reduced diarrhoea in this area. Safe use of canal irrigation water seems possible if households can pump seepage water to a large storage tank in their house and have a continuous water supply for sanitation and hygiene. Irrigation water management clearly has an impact on health and bridging the gap between the irrigation and drinking water supply sectors could provide important health benefits by taking into account the domestic water availability when managing irrigation water.
What Are Hydroponic Systems and How Do They Work?
Hydroponics is the art of gardening without soil. Hydroponics is a Latin word meaning “working water.” In the absence of soil, water goes to work providing nutrients, hydration, and oxygen to plant life. From watermelons to jalapeños to orchids, plants flourish under the careful regimen of hydroponics. Using minimal space, 90% less water than traditional agriculture, and ingenious design, hydroponic gardens grow beautiful fruits and flowers in half the time.
Though the technology sounds cutting-edge, the history of hydroponics dates back to the famed Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Euphrates River was diverted into channels that cascaded down the lavish garden walls. In the 13th century, Marco Polo wrote of witnessing floating gardens in China. However, hydroponics is far from merely an innovation of the ancient ages. In the 1990s, NASA grew aeroponic bean seedlings in zero gravity aboard a space station, opening up the possibility of sustainable agriculture in space. Hydroponics continues to be a timeless and dynamic method of water conservation and crop production.
What is hydroponics?
Hydroponics is the cultivation of plants without using soil. Hydroponic flowers, herbs, and vegetables are planted in inert growing media and supplied with nutrient-rich solutions, oxygen, and water. This system fosters rapid growth, stronger yields, and superior quality. When a plant is grown in soil, its roots are perpetually searching for the necessary nutrition to support the plant. If a plant’s root system is exposed directly to water and nutrition, the plant does not have to exert any energy in sustaining itself. The energy the roots would have expended acquiring food and water can be redirected into the plant’s maturation. As a result, leaf growth flourishes as does the blooming of fruits and flowers.
Plants sustain themselves by a process called photosynthesis. Plants capture sunlight with chlorophyll (a green pigment present in their leaves). They use the light’s energy to split water molecules they’ve absorbed via their root system. The hydrogen molecules combine with carbon dioxide to produce carbohydrates, which plants use to nourish themselves. Oxygen is then released into the atmosphere, a crucial factor in preserving our planet's habitability. Plants do not need soil to photosynthesize. They need the soil to supply them with water and nutrients. When nutrients are dissolved in water they can be applied directly to the plant’s root system by flooding, misting, or immersion. Hydroponic innovations have proven direct exposure to nutrient-filled water can be a more effective and versatile method of growth than traditional irrigation.
How does hydroponics work?
Hydroponic systems work by allowing minute control over environmental conditions like temperature and pH balance and maximized exposure to nutrients and water. Hydroponics operates under a very simple principle: provide plants exactly what they need when they need it. Hydroponics administer nutrient solutions tailored to the needs of the particular plant being grown. They allow you to control exactly how much light the plants receive and for how long. pH levels can be monitored and adjusted. In a highly customized and controlled environment, plant growth accelerates.
By controlling the environment of the plant, many risk factors are reduced. Plants grown in gardens and fields are introduced to a host of variables that negatively impact their health and growth. Fungus in the soil can spread diseases to plants. Wildlife like rabbits can plunder ripening vegetables from your garden. Pests like locusts can descend on crops and obliterate them in an afternoon. Hydroponic systems end the unpredictability of growing plants outdoors and in the earth. Without the mechanical resistance of the soil, seedlings can mature much faster. By eliminating pesticides, hydroponics produce much healthier and high-quality fruits and vegetables. Without obstacles, plants are free to grow vigorously and rapidly.
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