How much water does Drip Irrigation use?

June 5, 2022


The volume of water needed for drip irrigation varies as per a lot of factors. A one acre drip irrigated plot of land in a certain area may need 10,000 litres per hour while another one acre drip irrigated farmland may need 20,000 litres per hour in another location.

The amount of water needed for drip irrigation can be affected by the climatic condition and edaphic conditions of an area.

Generally, 5,000 – 30,000 litres of water is needed for drip irrigation for an acre of land in an hour.

drip irrigation in nigeria

Factors that affect how much water is needed for drip irrigation

The following factors affect the volume of water needed for drip irrigation:

  1. Climatic Condition
  2. Age of Plant
  3. Type of Crop
  4. Wind Speed
  5. Type of Soil
  6. Type of emitter used

1) Climatic Condition

The volume of water needed for drip irrigation in hot areas is usually higher than the amount of water needed for drip irrigation in cold areas. This is due to the high evaporation rate and high plant transpiration rate in hot areas.

For example, water needed for drip irrigation in a cold clime like Canada will be lower than water needed for drip irrigation in a hot tropical clime like Nigeria.

2) Age of Plant

Water needed for drip irrigation when the plant is young is usually lower than water needed for drip irrigation when the plant is matured or old.

Young seedlings need lesser volume of water than plants when they have big leaves and fruits.

3) Type of Crop

Crops with big leaves, stems and other tissues use more water than crops with smaller leaves and other tissues.

For example, the volume of water needed for drip irrigation for banana is usually higher than the amount of water needed for drip irrigation for pepper. A banana crop will need about 10 – 30 litres of water per day while a pepper crop will need 0.5 – 2 litres of water per day.

4) Wind Speed

In locations where the wind speed is high, drip irrigation systems usually needs more water because the high speed of the wind increases water usage in plants.

5) Type of Soil

The type of soil in your farmland may affect the volume of water that will be used by your drip irrigation system.

Sandy soil generally needs more water than clay soil.

6) Type of Emitter Used

High discharge drip irrigation emitter use more water than low discharge drip irrigation emitter. Drip irrigation tapes generally use less water drip irrigation tubings or LDPE hoses.

Do you use drip irrigation for your crops? If yes, why not tell us the volume of water your drip irrigation system uses in the comments’ section.

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