Drip irrigation, also known as trickle irrigation or microirrigation, is an irrigation method which saves water and fertilizer by allowing water to drip slowly to the roots of plants, either onto the soil surface or directly onto the root zone, through a network of valves, pipes, tubing, and emitters.
History:Drip irrigation has been used since ancient times when buried clay pots were filled with water, which would gradually seep into the grass. Modern drip irrigation began its development in Afghanistan in 1866 when researchers began experimenting with irrigation using clay pipe to create combination irrigation and drainage systems. In 1913, E.B. House at Colorado State University succeeded in applying water to the root zone of plants without raising the water table. Perforated pipe was introduced in Germany in the 1920s and in 1934, O.E. Nobey experimented with irrigating through porous canvas hose at Michigan State University.
With the advent of modern plastics during and after World War II, major improvements in drip irrigation became possible. Plastic microtubing and various types of emitters began to be used in the greenhouses of Europe and the United States.
The modern technology of drip irrigation was invented in Israel by Simcha Blass and his son Yeshayahu.  Instead of releasing water through tiny holes, blocked easily by tiny particles, water was released through larger and longer passageways by using velocity to slow water inside a plastic emitter. The first experimental system of this type was established in 1959 when Blass partnered with Kibbutz Hatzerim to create an irrigation company called Netafim. Together they developed and patented the first practical surface drip irrigation emitter. This method was very successful and subsequently spread to Australia, North America, and South America by the late 1960s.
In the United States, in the early 1960s, the first drip tape, called Dew Hose, was developed by Richard Chapin of Chapin Watermatics (first system established during 1964).  Beginning in 1989, Jain irrigation helped pioneer effective water-management through drip irrigation in India. Jain irrigation also introduced some drip irrigation marketing approaches to Indian agriculture such as `Integrated System Approach’, One-Stop-Shop for Farmers, `Infrastructure Status to Drip Irrigation & Farm as Industry.’ The latest developments in the field involve even further reduction in drip rates being delivered and less tendency to clog.Modern drip irrigation has arguably become the world's most valued innovation in agriculture since the invention of the impact sprinkler in the 1930s, which replaced flood irrigation. Drip irrigation may also use devices called micro-spray heads, which spray water in a small area, instead of dripping emitters. These are generally used on tree and vine crops with wider root zones. Subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) uses permanently or temporarily buried dripperline or drip tape located at or below the plant roots. It is becoming popular for row crop irrigation, especially in areas where water supplies are limited or recycled water is used for irrigation. Careful study of all the relevant factors like land topography, soil, water, crop and agro-climatic conditions are needed to determine the most suitable drip irrigation system and components to be used in a specific installation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drip_irrigation
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