Drip Irrigation versus Traveling Gun - Water Efficiency
One of the major selling points of a drip irrigation system is its reputation for saving water. It is true that drip irrigation systems apply water more effectively than traveling guns and have the potential for the greatest water savings. However, water savings are impacted significantly by your management practices. In order to achieve water savings both management practices and your irrigation system should be improved.
Here is a comparison of a drip irrigation system versus a traveling gun system:
Example: Comparison of water pumped for one acre of
grapes over entire growing season
* Lowest water pumped BUT Plant is not receiving enough
Note that the volume of irrigation a plant requires depends on how much rainfall we get during the growing season. This chart is just an example and should not be followed as a schedule for any particular year.
Are you surprised that the drip system used more water than the "typical" traveling gun situation? Don't be surprised. Some Ontario farmers who convert to drip discover that when they used to irrigate with guns, they didn't put enough water on to maximize yield (guns are so time consuming - we wait till the last possible minute!). However, water use with drip compared to an adequate overhead irrigation is much lower.
Look how much more effective the drip irrigation is. With drip, the water used by the plant is almost the same as with using an adequate irrigation with traveling gun but the total water pumped is much less ..this means saving money on diesel or electricity.
For more information:
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