Drip irrigation systems distribute water through a network of valves, pipes, tubing, and emitters. Depending on how well designed, installed, maintained, and operated it is, a drip irrigation system can be more efficient than other types of irrigation systems, such as surface irrigation or sprinkler irrigation.
The advantages of drip irrigation are:
- Fertilizer and nutrient loss is minimized due to localized application and reduced leaching.
- Water application efficiency is high if managed correctly.
- Field levelling is not necessary.
- Fields with irregular shapes are easily accommodated.
- Recycled non-potable water can be safely used.
The disadvantages of drip irrigation are:
- Initial cost can be more than overhead systems.
- If the water is not properly filtered and the equipment not properly maintained, it can result in clogging or bioclogging.