Vectored subsurface irrigation
Once again, I find it my obligation to stimulate conversation. I know we're
all busy this time of year such that contributing to our email list is
difficult. Please respond if you find this topic interesting.
Upon reading the proceedings of the 15th International Irrigation Exposition
and Technical Conference (held in Atlanta), I stumbled upon an article
entitled "Vectored Subsurface Irrigation". In short, vectored subsurface
irrigation is a new technology for manipulating the distribution of
subsurface applied water. It is primarily used in the turf and landscape
industry, specifically on sandy soils. Since we don't have graphic
capabilities (yet), I will try to describe it using text. A "V" shaped
continuous piece of plastic is installed directly below the buried drip line
(i.e. \o/ ). That's the best I can do to describe what this idea looks like
with a keyboard.
The "V" shape nozzle impedes the downward movement of water emitted from the
drip line. After the "V" is filled with water during the first few minutes of
irrigation, moving water is continuously pushed upward and outward using
capillarity into the dry soil at the wetting front. This phenomenon creates a
greater horizontal wetting pattern.
As the soil becomes saturated by horizontally moving water, the effect of
gravity dominates and downward percolation begins. The final wetting pattern
is approximately rectangular vs. elliptical or elongated sphere, specifically
in sandy soils.
My main point of initiating this topic is to bring up certain questions fo
1) Have any of you heard of this technology and if so, is it limited to the
2) Could this technology be used on shallow rooted agricultural crops
(onions, lettuce, cauliflower, radish) specifically on sandy soils?
3) Can you think of any disadvantages of vector-flow technology?
4) If you have heard of this technology, how is installation accomplished? I
having trouble envisioning installing the "V" aspect of the system.
5) Do you think this technology would be advantageous in heterogeneous soils?
6) Do you think it would have an economic advantage by saving on the number
of drip laterals placed in a field (further spacing due to more horizontal
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