|Camp Jr, Carl|
Submitted to: Encyclopedia of Water Science
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/25/2002
Publication Date: 8/1/2003
Citation: CAMP JR, C.R., LAMM, F.R. IRRIGATION SYSTEMS, SUBSURFACE DRIP. Marcel Dekker, New York, NY. ENCYCLOPEDIA OF WATER SCIENCE. 2003. p. 560-564.
Technical Abstract: Subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) has been a part of agricultural irrigation in the USA for about 40 years, but interest has increased rapidly during the last 20 years. Most early systems were primitive by current standards, but equipment design improved to provide more uniform and reliable operation. Initially, SDI was used primarily for high-value crops such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and sugarcane. As system reliability and longevity improved, SDI was used for lower-valued agronomic crops, primarily because the system could be used for multiple years, thus reducing annual system cost. Design guidelines have also evolved to include unique design elements for SDI, including air entry ports for vacuum relief and flushing manifolds. Crop yields with SDI are equal to or better than yields with other irrigation methods, including surface drip systems. Water requirements are similar to surface drip, and fertilizer requirements are sometimes lower than for other irrigation methods. Interest in the use of wastewater with SDI has increased during the last decade. The future of SDI is very promising, especially in areas where water conservation is important or water quality is poor, including wastewater. SDI is a very precise irrigation method, both in the delivery of water and nutrients to desired locations and the timing and frequency of applications for optimal plant growth.