Sie sind auf Seite 1von 7

Drip Irrigation for Coconut

Booklet No. 432


Irrigation: IRS-2
Contents
Preface
I. Introduction
II. Advantages of Drip Irrigation
III. Components of the System
IV. Layout of Drip System
V. Emmitter Clogging
VI. Cost of Drip Irrigation Units
VII. Precautions
Preface
Coconut known as "Kalpavruksha" (a tree that provides every thing needed to man) can
be cultivated in most part of the country where there is at least medium type of warm climate
and humidity. Use of drip irrigation is an economic and efficient way of using the often much
scarce water resources. This booklet describes the method of drip irrigation for the coconut
plants.
Dr. K T. Chandy, Agricultural Environmental Education
I. Introduction
Major areas under coconut plantation is in the humid tropics where the annual rainfall
ranges from 2000 mm to 3500 mm which is about two times higher than the annual evaporation
(1500-1750 mm). Yet in many coconut growing areas the crop experiences moisture stress from
November till May which are rainless months. It is observed that coconut responds well to
irrigation and the increase in yield is over 30 nuts per palm per year.
Traditionally, coconut gardens are floor or basin irrigated. In such cases the irrigation
efficiency is only 30-60 per cent due to the wastage of water. Besides there is wastage of labour
and energy too in adopting this system of irrigation. Scarcity of irrigation water and increasing
cost of labour and energy are posing serious threat to the economic viability of coconut
production. It is therefore imperative that the water use efficiency is increased.
Concerted efforts to use water efficiently in agriculture have resulted in astounding
advancement in irrigation technology and drip irrigation is one of the latest innovation in this
direction. In this system, low volume of water is applied to the root zone through nozzles, microtubes, drippers etc.
II. Advantages of Drip Irrigation
1. Water saving
In the traditional methods of irrigation for the coconut much water is lost through
evaporation, run off, seepage and deep percolation. Whereas in drip irrigation water is applied
drop by drop and wet only part of the soil volume. Due to this partial wetting of the soil volume,
reduced surface evaporation, decreased run-off and controlled deep percolation losses,. there is
saving of water up to 60 per cent.

2. Enhanced plant growth and yield


Slow and frequent application of water eliminates wide fluctuations in the moisture
content of the soil. Moisture become available to the coconut plants in a steady manner
resulting in better growth and yield.
3. Saving in labour and energy
If the system is well designed, properly installed and water supply is clean, the labour
required is only for switching on or off the system. Because of the high irrigation efficiency, less
time is required to supply required quantity of water, thus saving in energy. The operating
pressure is also comparatatively lower than other systems.
4. Most suited to poor soils
Very light soils are difficult to be irrigated by conventional methods due to deep
percolation of water. Similarly, very heavy soils with low infiltration rates are difficult to be
irrigated by the sprinkler method. Drip irrigation has been successful in both the soils.
5. Sparse weed growth
Due to partial wetting of soil volume weed infestation is very less in comparison to other
methods of irrigation.
6. Improved cultural practices
Because the soil surface remains dry, there is access to the field at all the times for
cultural operations such as spraying, weeding, harvesting, etc.
7. Possibility of using saline water
Due to the frequent watering, the soil moisture always remains very high. At the same
evaporation is very much reduced. Thus the salt concentrations at the top layer of the soil
remains below harmful levels.
8. Improved efficiency of fertilizers
Because of reduced loss of fertilizers through leaching and run-off water and also
because fertilizer is applied in localized zones, there is high efficient use of applied fertilizers.
Despite its several advantages, the high level of initial investment and maintenance
requirements of the commercially available drip irrigation units is the major constraint in its
adoption by the small and medium farmers. Simple and relatively less expensive drip irrigation
system has been developed by Central Plantation Crop Research Institute, Kasaragode. This is
suited to various topographic conditions and land holding sizes. The system works under low
pressure of 1-3 m water height. The details of the system are de3Cribed in this booklet.
III. Components of the System
The drip irrigation system consists of components such as (1) water storage tank, (2)
main and sub-main lines, (3) laterals, (4) drippers, (5) micro-tubes, (6) simple filter, and (7) fitting
accessories. A brief description of these components is given here.
1. Water storage tank
The storage tank can be made of any simple conveniently available material. It can be a
200 litre capacity diesel barrel properly painted or masonry tank of larger capacity. In

homestead gardens the system can be integrated with the existing over-head tanks. Small
gardens (up to 35 palms) are I easily irritated by placing a 200 litre diesel barrel on an earthen
platform of about 1.5 m height near the well. Water is drawn manually and stored in the barrel.
The barrel is connected with the main and laterals. This is most suited where there is the
practice of carrying irrigation water as head load.
The main pipe line is connected to the storage tank. At the entrance of the main pipe a
simple hand fabricated filter is provided. Ready made filters are also available in the market.
The point here is that the water used for drip irrigation should be as clean and as poor as
possible. This will reduce the chance of clogging of the drippers and microtubes.
2. Main and sub-main lines
The system consists of supply main, field main and sub main. The supply main runs
from storage tank to the field to be irrigated. The diameter of the main depends upon the length
of the main and size of the garden. For small gardens (up to 35 palms) 16 mm pipe can be used
for supply as well as field mains. PVC pipe of 38,50, 75 and 100 mm are used for 1,2,3 and 4 ha
gardens respectively. Field mains are laid along or across the length for uniform pressure. There
are also PVC pipes having lesser diameter than supply main. Only in gardens where water
source is at some distance, supply main is required. In large gardens sub-mains are needed. In
such cases if field main is 50 mm then sub-main of 38 mm is used. A gate valve is provided in
the main pipe to regulate the water flow.
3. Laterals
High density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes 12 or 10 mm are used for laterals. The laterals
run along the rows. The size of main, sub-main and laterals are so selected that gives almost
uniform discharge at each dripper. Maximum length of laterals can be up to 50 m for uniform
water application.
The laterals are connected with the sub-main through a joint. The ends are closed by
plugs or simply by bending the end and tieing with thread.
4. Drippers
Small water tap type drippers or emitters are used in this system. Drippers are
connected to the laterals with the help of small pieces of black, polythene micro tubing (4 mm
IP). The lateral are carefully punched so that when the micro tube piece is inserted, there is no
leakage. The advantage of tap type dripper is that discharge rate can be adjusted in varying
amounts 1 to 1.5 litre per hour. Thus according to the light as well as heavy soils the discharge
can be adjusted. Also the problems of decrease in discharge rate due to decrease in pressure is
solved by regulating the rate of discharge. Thus same discharge rate is maintained at all the
dripping points.
Such drippers are most suited to gardens with uneven topography also for maintaining
uniform application of water. Cleaning of emitters if needed, is also very easy.
5. Micro-tubes
Micro tubes are pieces of black polythene tubing (4 mm ill) and are used to connect
drippers with the laterals. One end of the micro tube is attached to lateral and the other to the
dripper. The length of micro tube varies according to the distance of dripping point from the
lateral.
6. Simple filter

The simple filters can be fabricated by making perforations on a small piece of PVC pipe
of desired diameter. A stainless steel/copper wire mesh (200-300 mesh size) or synthetic cloth is
wrapped over the perforated pipe and tied. This is fitted in the main line at the outlet of the
storage tank. Depending on the creativity of the people there could be several other designs for
fabricating the design.
7. Fitting accessories
Some accessories are needed for assembling the whole unit. These are gate valve, lose
collar, start connector, reducers and plugs for main, sub-main, laterals etc.
IV. Layout of Drip System
Depending upon the situation, main pipe is laid out along or perpendicular to the length
of the garden. Sub-main runs perpendicular to the main and laterals are laid perpendicular to
the sub-main along the rows. Main and sub-main pipes are burried at about 30 cm below the
ground. The micro tubes along with drippers at one end are fitted on to the lateral as already
mentioned above. The length of the micro-tubes are adjusted in such a way that it can half of
the periphery of the basin of the coconut basin. On each half basin two small pits each at a
distance of one metre is dug. The size of the pit is 20 x 20 x 30 cms. A 40 cm long PVC conduit
pipe (16 mrn ID) is placed in a slanting position in each pit leaving about 10 cm above ground.
Emitters are placed inside the conduit pipe. Pits are properly mulched with dry leaves to reduce
evaporation loss. Thus water is allowed to drip at 30 cm below the soil surface. This gives 50%
higher wetted volume than placing drippers on surface. Instead of PVC any other cheap and
easily available materials also can be used. Clay pipes similar to the diameter and length will be
ideal from the point of cost and appropriateness.
Water Quantity and Rate of Application
Daily water requirement for the coconut varied according to the evapo-transpiration
demand. Water requirement in different months is presented in Table 1. According to the data
given there is no significant difference between water requirements between months in the
same season. Therefore a fixed quantity of 40 litres per palm per day is sufficient for reaching
higher production. Discharge rate depends on the intake rate of the soil also. In most of the
coconut cultivated areas the intake rate of water by soil is very high (720 cm per hour).
Therefore, any rate between two to ten litre per hour per dripper can be maintained. However, to
reduce deep drainage, high rate of discharge ( more than 2 litre per hour) is not desirable. If
clogging of emitters is due to iron content in water, 4litres per hr discharge may be maintained to
reduce clogging problems.
Sl.No

1
2
3
4
5
6
7

Table 1: Irrigation schedule for different months


Month
Mean
Transpor- Water
Time required
evaporation tation
required hrs
mm/day
mm/day
Lit/day
Hrs
Mts
November
3.7
3.0
30
3
45
December
4.3
3.5
36
4
30
January
4.5
3.6
37
4
38
February
5.0
4.0
41
5
08
March
5.6
4.5
46
5
45
April
6.0
4.8
49
6
08
May
5.6
4.5
46
5
45

V. Emitter Clogging
Emitter clogging is a serious problem that affects the rate and uniformity of water
application. It may be due to the presence of sand, silt and organic matter in the water
development of algae and bacterial growth in the tubes and precipitation of dissolved iron when
present in conjunction with iron bacteria. The analysis of the water for clogging agents is
essential for determining the type of clogging problems. Once the causative factor is identified,
preventive measures should be followed. Sometimes the solutions are not practical and
economically feasible even-though the cause is known. Therefore, the following general
preventive measures are suggested (to avoid clogging)
1. Water filtration
When clogging occurs due to physical factors (presence of sand silt and organic matter
content in the water) good filters made of stainless steel (200-300 mesh size) or synthetic cloth
should be used. Filters should be cleaned manually at least fortnightly.
2. Flushing of pipe lines
Frequent field inspections of emitters, pipelines, accessory equipments ate required to
detect faults to keep systems in proper functions. Flashing of pipeline is essential where
irrigation water contains salt, sand organic matter etc. Provision may be made to flush main
sub-main and laterals.
3. Maintaining high rate of discharge
Sometimes blocking of emitter occurs due to entry of the air bubbles with low discharge
rate. Also when concentration of iron is more than one ppm in water, frequent blocking can be
reduced by maintaining higher discharge rate (74 lit/hr). This means periodically water should
be passed through the system at higher rate.
4. Avoid GI Water storage tank and pipelines
Often emitters are blocked due to rust and iron scraps from the iron tanks and
galvanized iron pipes. Masonry or plastic tanks should be used for water storage and PVC or
HDPE pipes be used for conveying water to solve this problem. (HDPE = High Density Poly
Ethlene).
VI. Cost of Drip Irrigation Units
The cost of drip irrigation units based on 1994-95 price level for different sizes of
coconut garden is given in Table 2.
Table 2: Approximate installation cost of drip irrigation units at 1994-95 price (for 0.2 ha (35
palm)
Sl.
No
1
2
3
4
5

Items
Main pipe LDPE (16mm ID) 55 m length @ Rs.3.00/- metre
Laterals PDPE (10mm ID) 240 m length @ Rs. 2.50/- m
Micro tube (4mm ID) 150 m length @ Rs. 1/- per metre
Emitters (4/palm) 140 nos @ Rs. 3/- per emitter
Drum and simple filter

Approx cost
in Rs
165.00
600.00
150.00
420.00
400.00

Gate valve and fittings


Total Rs

II
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

For 0.4 Ha (75 palms)


Pump one H.P
Masonry tank 3000 lit capacity
Main pipe HDPE (50 mm) 50 m length @ Rs. 18/End stop (50 mm) 2 nos @ Rs. 30.00 each
Connectors (50 mm) 2 nos @ Rs. 40 each
Laterals LDPE (16 mm ID) 550 m length @ Rs. 3/- per metre
End stops (16 mm) 18 nos @ Rs. 1/- each
Start connectors (16 mm) 18 nos @ Rs. 3/- each
Micro tube (4 mm ID) 250 m length @ Rs.1/- per mts
Transparent flexible (4mm ID) plastic tube 20 m length @ Rs.
20/- mtr
Emitters 300 @ Rs. 3/- each
PVC pipe (12.5 mm) 87 m length @ Rs. 3.00 per mtr
Filter
GI fittings, gate valves, pipe connection etc.
Installation charges @ 10% of the total cost
Total

11
12
13
14
15
III
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15

For one hectare (175 palms)


Pump 2 HP
Masonry tank 6000 lit capacity
Main pipe HDPE (50 mm) 110 m length @ Rs. 18/- per mtr
End stops (50 mm) 2 nos @ Rs 30 each
Conectors (50 mm) 2 nos @ Rs. 40/- each
Laterals LDPE (16 mm OD) 1400 m length @ Rs 3/- per mtr
End stop (16 mm) 40 nos @ Rs.1 each
Start connectors (16 mm) 40 nos @ Rs. 3/- each
Micro tube (4 mm ID) 630 m length @ Rs. 1/- per mtr
Transparents of flexible plastic tube (4 mm ID) 144 m @ Rs. 2/mtr
Emitters 700 nos @ Rs 3/- each
PVC pipe (12.5 m) 90 m @ Rs. 3/- mtr
Filter
GI fitting, gate valve, pipe connection etc
Installation charge 10% of total cost
Total Rs.

200.00
1,935.00
4000.00
3000.00
900.00
60.00
80.00
1650.00
18.00
54.00
250.00
40.00
900.00
261.00
250.00
500.00
500.00
12,463.00
6000.00
6000.00
1980.00
60.00
80.00
4200.00
40.00
120.00
630.00
288.00
2100.00
270.00
250.00
600.00
2200.00
24,818.00

VII. Precautions
The success and the longevity of the drip irrigation system depends on how well it is
planned, laid out and maintained. The following are some of the precaution needed to be taken
while installing as well as maintaining the irrigation -system.
1. Drip irrigation is a permanent installment and therefore it should be planned and laid out well.
2. At the planning and installation level some irrigation expert should be consulted.
3. The system should be fitted fully leak proof. Otherwise

the pressure head will be lost.


4. The lay of the drip irrigation system should be planned in such a way that all the intercultural
operations including the use of farm machineries should not be obstruct- ed. Neither the system
be damaged by the inter cultural operations.
5. For longevity of the system, only quality materials specially for laterals should be used.
6. Frequent checking should be done to maintain the system in proper order.
7. For long life and protection from rodents and dogs, laterals should be burried in the good
ground at about 30 cm depth.
8. Maintenance operations should be carried out regularly.
%%%%%%%%%