Low Pressure Sub-Surface Irrigation Technology for an Optimal Irrigation Management - An Auto-regulative Membrane Pipe
Andrea Dührkoop1, Abdelaali Bencheikh2, Tarek Abdelmoneim Ouamane2, Ahmed Madjed Djoudi2, Oliver Hensel1
1University of Kassel, Agricultural Engineering, Germany
This paper presents analysis and results of a joint research project between the Technical and Scientific Research Center on Arid Regions (CRSTRA) in Biskra (Algeria) and the Institute for Agricultural Engineering of the Kassel University (Germany). An auto-regulative membrane pipe buried beneath the soil surface was tested in greenhouse trials at the experimental station El Outaya near Biskra (Algeria) where water is scarce, with annual rainfall varying between 70 and 120 mm. The new membrane irrigation system works at low pressure to allow an auto-regulative functioning of the pipe based on the close interaction between the pipe, the soil and the plant. When the soil is dry the water supply by the pipes is high because of the high soil water tension, when the soil humidity rises the soil water tension will decrease, subsequently water flow will decrease. To sustain a constant system head a mechanical float valve has to be installed in the water supply tank. This design ensures a continuous water filling of the pipe. The irrigation method works automatically and independent of energy supply.
Keywords: Auto-regulative, irrigation, subsurface irrigation, water saving
Contact Address: Andrea Dührkoop, University of Kassel, Agricultural Engineering, Nordbahnhofstr.1 a, 37213 Witzenhausen, Germany, e-mail: andrea.duehrkoopuni-kassel.de