Session 1. Microirrigation History and Research Trends
Historical Developments in Microirrigation
Dale A. Bucks
Integrated environment and natural resource management is becoming a priority for the 21st century. Increasing demand for water has created a whole new set of issues and problems for irrigated agriculture. The usage of microirrigation systems continues to increase in the world and the United States. Some of the primary reasons for this usage include increased beneficial use of available water; enhanced plant growth, quality, and yield; reduced salinity hazards to plants; improved fertilizer and other chemical applications; limited weed growth; decreased energy requirements; improved cultural practices; and better control of offsite water impacts on fish and wildlife habitats and other aquatic ecosystems.
Keywords: Drip irrigation, trickle irrigation, water conservation, environmental protection
Abstract taken from paper found on pages 1 to 5 in Proceedings of 5th International Microirrigation Congress, April 2-6, 1995, Orlando, Florida. American Society of Agricultural Engineers, 2950 Niles Road, St. Joseph, Michigan 49085-9659, USA. Phone: 616-429-0300 FAX: 616-429-3852 EMAIL: HQ@ASAE.ORG
Claude J. Phene
The third survey on the worldwide usage of microirrigation (MI) conducted by the International Committee on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) in 1991 showed, respectively, 63% and 329% increases in usage during the last five and ten years. At the time of the survey, the total worldwide irrigated acreage was 1,768,987 ha. Based on the past 63% increase, one can project that the acreage in MI is now approaching 2,500,000 ha, but this still only represents 1% of the world's irrigated area. The increased acceptance, growth and practicality of MI has resulted from the synergistic effect of several factors, one being agronomic research and technological development conducted by research agencies, universities, industry and users, and another being increased recognition that water resources for irrigated agriculture are finite and, perhaps, even on the decline. Increasing acceptance and realization that MI was not a fad, but an advanced, sophisticated and sustainable irrigation method, have further helped to fuel research, demonstration and development of MI.
In 1971, 24 papers were presented at the First International Drip Irrigation Meeting held in Tel Aviv, Israel. In 1974, 89 papers were presented at the Second International Drip Irrigation Congress held in San Diego, California, USA. In 1985, 136 oral and 21 poster research papers were presented at the Third International Drip/Trickle Irrigation Congress in Fresno, California, USA. In 1986, just one year after the Fresno Congress, 47 research papers were presented at the ICID Round Table Conference on Micro-Irrigation in Budapest, Hungary, and in 1988, 88 research papers were presented at the Fourth International Micro-Irrigation Congress in Albury-Wodonga, Australia. This Fifth International Microirrigation Congress will feature 129 oral and 27 research posters. Obviously, MI has not been developed by accident, but instead by planned, organized and concerted efforts of international research, academic and industrial institutions. Much progress has been achieved in the last 30 years but much research and development still has to be done in the areas of plant water requirements, chemigation/fertigation, emitter plugging, economics (especially for developing countries), emitter and system design, hardware, automation, simulation models and expert systems, horticulture and agronomy. Microirrigation can potentially solve many water shortage and quality problems but this will require further research and demonstration in the safe reuse of low quality water and wastewater, development of Best Management Practices (BMP) for managing water and nitrates in soil, maintaining long term sustainability, and minimizing salt accumulation and drainage problems. Further developments will be needed in improved pressure-compensated emitters for improving spatial discharge uniformity. This paper will review research in microirrigation summarized in four major areas: (1) determination of water requirements and irrigation scheduling; (2) water quality BMPs and water solute movement; (3) System design and uniformity; and (4) Expert systems and simulation models, and discuss these research trends.
Keywords: Irrigation Development, Wastewater, Reuse, Emitter Design, Automation, Salinity, Drainage, Water Stress, Fertigation
Abstract taken from paper found on pages 6 to 24 in Proceedings of 5th International Microirrigation Congress, April 2-6, 1995, Orlando, Florida. American Society of Agricultural Engineers, 2950 Niles Road, St. Joseph, Michigan 49085-9659, USA. Phone: 616-429-0300 FAX: 616-429-3852 EMAIL: HQ@ASAE.ORG