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Drip Irrigation System Design
Published 2016 · Environmental Science
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This chapter focuses on the design of a dual feed subsurface drip irrigation system, which is the most common agricultural drip system. The first example demonstrates the procedure for design and economic comparison of alternative mainline and submain designs for subsurface drip irrigation. Uniformity is calculated for an entire irrigation zone rather than an individual lateral. Submains are designed with lateral flow rate vs. pressure curves just as laterals are designed with emitter flow rate vs. pressure curves. The economic analysis includes water, energy, and pipe costs. One of the major advantages of a dual feed system is the automated flushing process; however, if the system will not maintain an adequate flow velocity in the laterals, then it is impossible to flush debris out of the laterals. The economic evaluation evaluates the sum of pipe and present value energy costs and selects the lowest cost alternative. The next examples focus on the economic comparison of several agricultural in-line drip products. The economic analysis includes frequency of replacement, cost, and degradation over time. Examples include the irrigation of a watermelon crop (high value with no yield reduction from overirrigation) and a cotton crop (lower value with yield penalty from overirrigation)