Sub-surface drip irrigation

Sub-surface drip irrigation (SDI) is the placement of permanent drip tape (trickle) below the soil surface, usually at a depth of between 20 and 40 cm. Emitters along this drip tape emit water during irrigation. A range of crops have been successfully grown with SDI, including cotton, cucurbits, lucerne, maize, mungbeans, navy beans, sorghum and wheat.

Further information

  • Burt, CM and Styles, SW (1999) Drip and Micro Irrigation for Trees, Vines, and Row Crops: Design and Management, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, California.
  • Dasberg, S and Or, D (1999) Drip Irrigation. Springer, New York.
  • Hassan, FA (1998) Microirrigation management and maintenance. Agro Industrial Management, Fresno, California.

There are an increasing number of commercial irrigators experienced with SDI within Australia across a range of crops. If considering SDI you should discuss this with experienced growers as well as the experienced field staff of the major SDI system suppliers who can put you in contact with experienced SDI irrigators.

Information is also available through the Trickle-L Discussion Forum. This list has over 650 members (irrigators, manufacturers, resellers, researchers, extension personnel) in 35 countries. Archives of discussions related to drip irrigation (and SDI in particular) are available at the Trickle-L Forum website.

Last updated 19 May 2011