A large proportion (i.e. 30%) of growers previously reported by Raine et al (2000) indicated that they would make significant changes to the design of future drip irrigation installations. This includes greater consideration of locating submains, valves and tape depth (subsurface systems) as well as greater consideration of filtration and flushing requirements. The lifetime of the system is a major consideration which can be compromised by decisions at the design and implementation stages in an attempt to reduce the capital cost. Similarly these changes can influence the performance of the irrigation system and the ongoing operating costs. Careful consideration of these aspects needs to be taken into account.
Impediments to Adoption:
The major impediments to adoption of drip irrigation systems is the relatively large capital cost of these systems which make them more suited to high value crops. While the system can potentially operate at a high level of irrigation efficiency, reduced labour inputs are offset by the requirement for more highly skilled operators. Drip irrigation systems probably require the highest management skill in comparison to other infield irrigation system options.
Operational considerations – Irrigator:
Management of drip systems is critical and is often a steep learning curve for irrigators with no previous experience. Over irrigation is a common mistake for new managers as the application of water is not visible and management relies on the use of tools such as soil moisture meters.
Maintenance of drip systems to maintain the integrity and potential of the original system design is a key ongoing factor for consideration by the irrigator. General maintenance issues include chemical treatment to prevent blockages from algae and root intrusion (i.e. sub surface drip). Preventive measures include chlorine and acid for algae control and treflan impregnated filtration components to prevent root intrusion. Other maintenance aspects include regular flushing of the irrigation system and the repair of leaks and breaks. Leaks from tape damage due to animals such as rats and insects (i.e. crickets) can be particularly troublesome.
Though the arrival of Drip Irrigation is almost accepted by the government still a need of learning the technique is seen. Just by getting introduce with the upcoming technology doesn’t yield the output. Farmers specially unskilled laborer’s need to change their way of doing irrigation, when they are on the urge of implementing new technique they should also adapt to changes which are needed for the successful implementation of Drip Irrigation.