Drip and Micro-Spray Irrigation

Simcha Blass, an Israeli hydraulic engineer, is credited with the discovery and introduction of modern drip irrigation in the early 1930’s. Drip irrigation (also known as micro-irrigation) became more common with the introduction of plastics in the 1950’s. Plastic tubing provided an inexpensive, flexible means of delivering water to the root zone of plants and was widely used in greenhouses and for agriculture. As improvements were made to the materials, and as problems such as clogging were resolved, drip irrigation began to gain popularity for residential and small commercial applications. The relative simplicity of drip irrigation even made it possible for homeowners and other non-professionals to install it.

Drip and micro-spray irrigation are arguably the most efficient methods of providing water to trees, crops, gardens and landscapes. These systems have many efficiency benefits, but also some disadvantages too, as discussed below. Proper maintenance is a significant issue.

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