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In our quest to come up with the most efficient drip system for vineyards, our INNERGATION DRIP TUBE HANGER solves a large part of the problem: placing the drip in the correct position and keeping it there.  The next equally important part is getting the water underground to avoid loss due to evaporation and runoff on hillside vineyards. Two research projects advocate making a depression/ hole underneath the emitter and filling them with a porous medium. Either compost or sand was used to allow the water to quickly translocate beneath the surface reducing evaporation.  Both studies prove that facilitating water movement subsurface retains moisture and an improved soil profile for root growth.  These projects require the water source to be stationary which our drip tube hanger provides.  

The 1st research project compares the use of traditional surface drip in contrast with drilling holes of about 8” and 16” and filling them with either sand or compost and analyzing effectiveness.  This project demonstrates reduced surface moisture and improved water content subsurface.  Soil profile illustrations in results provide clarity. Please read the abstract below and follow link for the complete research project.

 

Effective moisture conservation method for heavy soil under drip irrigation

June, 2014 Agric Eng Int: CIGR Journal Open access at http://www.cigrjournal.org Vol. 16, No.2 1

Harby Mostafa

(Agricultural Engineering Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Benha University, 13736 Moshtohor, Kaliobya, Egypt)

Abstract:

Drip irrigation is one of the most efficient systems in delivering water to the plant root zone but it still allows relatively high evaporation from the saturated zone that develops under emitters especially in clay soils of low infiltration rates .Initial lateral water movement may take a long time in such soils thus exposing surface water to high evaporation. The vertical columns method induces water infiltration keeping the actual water surface deeper in the soil profile. The objective of this research is to compare between the effect of vertical compost and sand columns on the distribution of water in the root zone and the potential for water saving in clay soil. A field experiment was conducted and the results indicated that the vertical mulch allowed more water to remain in the soil profile thereby increasing the irrigation efficiency and has a significant effect on water storage at the 20-60 cm depth. Over time, as the soil is drying up, the significance of the vertical mulch factor increases. Considering the root zone profile as a whole, the compost columns (20 and 40 cm) as well as the 40 cm vertical sand column had higher water content than the surface irrigation

 

The 2nd research project measures water loss due to evaporation.  Chunks of undisturbed soil about 1 cubic yard are extracted and weighed before and after irrigation with traditional surface drip and sand tube columns.  The results prove with 95% certainly a water savings of between 33% and 40% with the sand tube columns.  Please read the abstract below and follow link for the complete research project.

EVAPORATION REDUCTION POTENTIAL IN AN UNDISTURBED SOIL IRRIGATED WITH SURFACE DRIP AND SAND TUBE IRRIGATION M. Meshkat, R. C. Warner, S. R. Workman

ABSTRACT:

The efficiency of drip irrigation is highly dependent on evaporation losses occurring from the constantly saturated soil beneath emitters. Advent of subsurface drip irrigation is in part an approach to curb this inefficiency. An irrigation method, Sand Tube Irrigation (STI), is proposed to increase the efficiency of “Normal” surface applied drip Irrigation (NI method) on permanent tree crops without the need for burying the irrigation tubing. The sand tube consists of removing a soil core beneath the emitter and filling the void with coarse sand. A weighing lysimeter was constructed in the laboratory and instrumented to directly measure temporal evaporation from large, undisturbed soil columns, 0.7 m in diameter and 0.8 m in height. Experiments were performed on six replicated soil monoliths to compare the two methods. The results indicated that, for four consecutive days after irrigation, there was a significant difference at the 95% confidence level between evaporation occurring from the NI and STI methods. After four days of evaporation, comparison of water contents indicated that a higher amount of water existed between the depths of 0.2 to 0.55 m in the STI versus the NI method. Although drainage occurred from the macropore structure of the undisturbed soil monoliths, the STI method showed potential in retaining more water in the micropore structure of the lower depths, that would be available for plant use rather than potential evaporation. Keywords. Evaporation reduction, Drip irrigation, Microirrigation, Efficiency, Soil monolith.