When you are driving along the streets of Dubai, you cannot ignore the giant puddles of water that cover the side of the roads and sidewalks. These puddles result from the attempted irrigation of green patches and plants, which is a big waste. Sprinkler irrigation techniques with sprinkler systems in a country as arid as the UAE are colossal waste.
About sixty percent of the water evaporates before the plants absorb it. Interestingly, plants only use forty percent of the water intended for irrigation. This lack of uneven distribution along with the decrease in water used is detrimental to the plant’s health.
So, the next obvious question that strikes your mind is What is sprinkler irrigation, and will this irrigation system work out in the UAE?
What is Sprinkler Irrigation?
The sprinkler irrigation system usually sprays water into the air. Then the water falls to the ground ground quite similar to rainfall. The water spray flows out of the nozzle under high pressure through small nozzles. With a careful selection of nozzle sizes, sprinkler spacing, and operating pressure, the farmer can apply the required amount of irrigation water needed to refill the crop root zone uniformly to suit the soil’s infiltration rate.
Advantages of Sprinkler irrigation
- It is suitable for all types of soil except heavy clay
- There is no conveyance loss due to elimination of the channels for conveyance.
- It saves water
- Suitable for irrigating crops with a very high plant population per unit area.
- It is suitable for oilseeds and other cereal and vegetable crops.
- It offers closer control of water application convenient for giving light and frequent irrigation and higher water application efficiency
- Increase in yield
- Mobility of system
- The farmers can also use it in undulating areas.
- Influences greater conducive micro-climate
- The farmers can irrigate areas located at a higher elevation than the source.
- Possibility of using soluble fertilizers and chemicals
- Lesser occurrences of the problem of clogging of sprinkler nozzles due to sediment-laden water
Constraints in application of Sprinkler Irrigation
- Uneven water distribution due to high winds
- Evaporation loss when operating under high temperatures
- Highly impermeable soils are not suitable.
- The initial cost is high.
- Proper design
- Lack of Package of practices
- Lack of awareness
- There is a lack of social concern to save natural resources
- High water pressure required in sprinkler greater than 2.5kg/cm2
- Difficulty in irrigation during wind in sprinkler
Different Types of Sprinkler Systems
The sprinkler systems can be classified into the following two major types. It is based on the arrangement for spraying irrigation water, namely
- Rotating head or revolving sprinkler system.
- Perforated pipe system.
The Rotating head
In the case of resolving sprinkler system, small size nozzles are attached on riser pipes that are fixed at uniform intervals along the length of the lateral line, and the lateral pipes are usually laid on the ground surface. Irrigating a rectangular strip may also be mounted on posts above the crop height and rotated through 90 degrees.
In rotating head sprinklers, the most common device to turn the heads of the sprinkler is with a small hammer. The small hammer is activated by the thrust of water striking against a vane connected to it.
The Perforated pipe system:
This method consists of drilled holes or nozzles along their length through which water is sprayed under pressure. This system is designed for relatively low pressure (1 kg per square cm ). The application rate ranges from 1.25 to 5 cm per hour for various pressure and spacing. The sprinkler systems are further classified into the different types, based on portability:
(i) Portable system: A portable system has portable main lines, laterals, and pumping plant
(ii) Semi portable system: A semi-portable system is quite similar to a mobile system. Only except being the location of the pumping plant and water source is fixed.
(iii) Semi-permanent system: A semi-permanent system has portable lateral lines, permanent main lines, sub mains, and a stationary water source and pumping plant.
(iv) Solid set system: A solid set system has enough laterals to eliminate their movement. The laterals are positions in the field early in the crop season and remain for the season.
(v) Permanent system: A fully permanent system consists of permanently laid mains, sub mains, and laterals and a stationary water source and pumping plant.
How to Select Sprinkler System Capacity
A sprinkler system must apply water uniformly without runoff or erosion. The application rate of the sprinkler system must be equal to the infiltration rate of the most restrictive soil. If the application rate exceeds the soil intake rate, the water will run off the field. It may also relocate within the field, resulting in over and under-watered areas. The sprinkler system capacity is the flow rate needed to irrigate an area adequately. The system capacity depends on the following
- effective crop rooting depth;
- texture and infiltration rate of the soil;
- the available water holding capacity of the earth;
- Peak crop water requirements during the growing season;
- The pumping capacity of the well or wells (if wells are the water source)
Irrigation Systems in the United Arab Emirates
There is a need to irrigate farms and gardens by a method that will replace the natural rainfall when unavailable led to the design and construction of the sprinkler irrigation system. As mentioned earlier, the sprinkler irrigation technique supplies only forty percent of water to the plants, and sixty percent of the water evaporates before the plants absorb it.
So, you can always ask whether the UAE has that much spare water?
Water in the UAE is in very short supply. The United Arab Emirates is one of the top 10 most water-scarce countries globally and has one of the highest per capita water usage globally. A resident of the UAE consumes 550 litres per person per day which is more than double the global, national average of 250 litres per person per day.
So Why Use Wasteful Sprinkler Irrigation?
The answer to this question is simple. It is the fastest and cheapest way to irrigate the plants, or it may seem so. No doubt, the upfront costs are more affordable. However, there is a high hidden cost of water that are linked to the conventional irrigation methods used in the United Arab Emirates. There are several problems concerning spray irrigation, but its inefficiency is most important.
What is the alternate solution?
The water-efficient method of drip irrigation is an advantage. Hence many use this method as an alternative in arid regions. Drip irrigation consists of perforated tubes placed along the floor. Or you can bury these pipes near the roots of plants,. These tubes deposit water directly to the plant roots. As a result, the amount of water evaporated gets very much reduced. Moreover, it uses 25 percent less water than spray irrigation systems.
Farmers today use more and more efficient methods to resolve the problem of water scarcity. A second method used in the UAE is an irrigation system consisting of gravel and pipes 60cm below the surface. The plot is dug up. Post digging, you line up with a water-proof tarp and follow it up with layers of rock and dirt placed around a halfpipe. Subsequently, the pipe is drilled at strategic areas to let water flow, but sand and soil stay out. This method only requires 2.5 liters of water to maintain a plot which usually requires 10 to 12 loiters.
Steps for immediate action.
You can take some relatively simple steps, and you can take action immediately:
- It would help if you can adjust the sprinklers to water the grass and plants. Ensure that you are not watering the streets and sidewalks.
- You can water the plants during cooler times of the day, such as in the morning or evening, thereby avoiding large amounts of evaporation.
- Grow more drought-tolerant plants.
- Coordinate irrigation with seasonal rains.
Other solutions could be more complicated. You should moving to more efficient irrigation methods. The government of the UAE has a vital role to play in provide incentives if farmers adopt natural farming methods. The govt of the UAE can take the following measures:
- Avoid installing complex irrigation systems like drip irrigation system.
- You can try launching different campaigns across the UAE. These should educate farmers and residents about the env and its effect on the water usage.
- Provide loan and credit conditions for farmers that follow by env friendly laws or standards.
The water scarcity continuing to reach an all-time low. As a result, there is not enough water which can be equally distributed among the people of the UAE. It is the time to act is now. You can try combining irrigation methods with bio stimulant such as Giant Fruit. You can see a dramatic multi-fold increase in the quality and crop yield.
Why Shop for Giant Fruit – Bio Stimulant Specially for UAE
This uniquely formulated bio stimulants contain metabolites, microbes, proteins, amino acids, plant growth hormones, enzymes, hemic substances and much more. All of these substances are required for the healthy growth of your plants both in the farmland as well as in the garden.
If you are looking for ways to increase soil nutrition, a plant bio stimulant may be the right choice. It is any substance or microorganism applied to plants with sole aim to enhance nutrition efficiency,
You can apply this bio stimulant Giant Fruit to seeds, plants or the soil to stimulate its natural processes that may enhance the growth process of the plant. The product can also assist in increasing your crop quality and yield as well as soil microbial communities. Shop online today!