Comparative study of the hydraulic, energy and agronomic performances of conventional and low pressure drip irrigation on citrus
In countries facing water scarcity, drip irrigation can raise crop productivity and save water
compared to flood irrigation. In spite of its benefit, the adoption of drip irrigation is still low
mainly due to the high cost of investment and the energy cost of operation. For this latter
constraint, new types of drippers operating at low pressure are being tested. The present
study aims to compare the performances of two types of drippers, represented by conventional
drippers (CD) operating at nominal pressure of one bar and the new drippers (LP)
operating at a pressure of 0.15 bars. The study was carried out in a citrus grove in Tadla, Morocco.
Results showed that low pressure emitters reduced hydraulic energy per unit volume
of water supplied by around 43% compared to conventional emitters, without significant
reduction in water distribution uniformity. Low pressure drippers had uniformities of 80
to 92%, compared to 88 to 97% for conventional drippers. Citrus growth parameters, fruit
yield and the fruit quality of the Maroc late variety were identical under the two types of
drippers. Thus, low pressure emitters can be used as a substitute for conventional drippers
which require higher energy.