Difference Between Drip Irrigation and Sprinkler Irrigation -

Drip Irrigation vs Sprinkler Irrigation

There are two types of agriculture systems based on the source of water supply. If an agriculture system is totally based on the rainfall, it is known as rain fed agriculture. Other system, which does not receive enough rainfall to cultivate, needs artificial water supply for irrigation, and it is known as irrigated agriculture. Irrigation systems are used in commercial agriculture in order to provide sufficient moisture content to the crop. It also can be defined as an artificial application of water to a land or a soil. Irrigation systems are classified in several ways based on different criteria. Basically, they are categorized in two different ways as surface irrigation system and localized irrigation system. Surface irrigation systems are mostly applied in traditional agriculture, whereas the localized system is used in developed commercial agriculture. Drip irrigation system and sprinkler irrigation system are two of the well-known localized irrigation methods.

What is drip irrigation?

Drip irrigation is one of the commonest localized irrigation systems. It is a synonym to trickle or micro irrigation. This irrigation system consists of a network of pipelines and valves. Those valves facilitate dripping water directly to the plant root zone. Unnecessary places in the cultivation are not wetted by this method, and ultimately it reduces the water loss by evaporation and leaking. The valve size, pipe diameter, and flow rate are determined by considering the water requirement at the specific time. In addition, it depends on the cultivation too. There are several advantages in drip irrigation compared to the other methods of irrigation such as flood and sprinkler systems. Not only, water is supplied through this arrangement but also, the soluble fertilizer and chemicals (pesticides, cleaning agents) can be applied to the crop by dissolving in irrigated water. Needed amount of water and fertilizer can be pre estimated. Therefore, the loss can be minimized. This method prevents the spreading of diseases that caused by contact of water. Drip irrigation is widely used in areas where water scarcity is a huge problem. In addition, it is very much useful in commercial agricultural systems such as green houses, containerized plants, coconut cultivation, and landscape purposes.

What is sprinkler irrigation?

Sprinkler irrigation system is also a localized method of supplying water for agricultural crops and landscaping plants. It is also used as a cooling system or prevention method of airborne dust. Sprinkler system consists of pipelines, spray guns and spray nozzles. The gun will rotate as a circle by using the power of the spraying water. As it is a localized irrigation method, it has a lot of advantages compared to surface irrigation. Although the water loss is very much less than surface irrigation, it is somewhat higher than drip irrigation. Also, spraying water all over the field may cause to spread some plant diseases and favors to increase the pest population.


What is the difference between drip irrigation and sprinkler irrigation?

• Dripping valves are present in drip system while spray guns and nozzles are used in sprinkler system.

• Only the root area is wetted by drip irrigation, whereas one sprinkler wets an area of a circle, which covers a number of plants. Therefore, most of the area in a given field will be wetted by this system.

• Drip irrigation prevents the spreading of diseases that caused by contact of water, whereas sprinkler system does not.

• Run off and evaporation is higher in sprinkler method than drip irrigation. Ultimately, the effectiveness and efficiency is higher in drip irrigation than sprinkler.