There is no better sound than that of drip tapes whistling their beautiful song during testing after installation! so sweet to a water engineer because deep within, one notices that he is giving food to a generation in an environmentally friendly way. So is how I felt after finishing my fourth drip irrigation project in Nakuru back 2014.
Currently, drip irrigation is the most economical mode of irrigation, if correctly installed the emitters can have a uniformity of application of above 90% which is extremely hard to achieve with other irrigation methods. Drip irrigation efficiently offers irrigation solution for vegetables and horticultural products both in green houses and outside fields thus serving efficiently and economically relatively large pieces of land with minimal amounts of water.
For such a project the design phase is very critical, many a times people tend to give up on drip irrigation projects simply because of poor designs. poor designs lead to poor results. After a client has agreed to a irrigation project, it is essential to have a qualified water engineer on site to do the design phase of it. Many people ignore this fact and end up with stalled projects as from afar it may not seem like a worth investment. Many even discard drip tapes they had initially after they foresee no return on investment. The cause of all these is poor designs for the project in the design phase.
The initial investment on the same is relatively cheaper comparing with most irrigation methods as a meter of a drip-tape pipe is retailing at 12KES in the markets currently. Approximately 6rolls of of 1000m m are required for quarter of an acre depending on the crop you intend to plant. Quarter of an acre can give you return worth the investment in the first harvest considering good farming practices, these farming practices include mulching, pest control, proper bed layout among others.
The other important point to note in drip irrigation and other types of irrigation is crop water requirement, this depends on the crop being grown on the area to be irrigated and is measured in millimeters. Whereas water engineers are helpful at this point, agronomic services also come in handy at this point . Irrigation scheduling and calculation of maximum allowable depletion figures is essential for the crop in question.
As you embark on your irrigation projects, consider drip irrigation, and an expert in it.
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