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Measures on this page aim at providing an extra source of water to crops on the field. Under climate change, it will be beneficial for farmers not only to rely on rainfall.


Bottle irrigation

This water efficient drip irrigation technology only requires plastic bottles. Its main purpose is to supply water to crops with the lowest water loss possible (UNEP-DHI Partnership et al., 2017). The bottom of the plastic bottle (1.5 or 2L) is removed and saved to serve as a cover later. The bottle will be put into the soil upside down like a funnel, with a slightly open lid. The lid of the bottle should be opened carefully, to achieve a drip rate of around five drops per second. After 90 minutes, the plant will have received the full 1.5L of irrigation water. Tape should arrange the lid in the exact position when the bottle is partly buried the soil. Placing the bottle right next to the seedling results in the irrigation water being added to the rootzone directly. This method reduces evaporation, since no surficial irrigation is needed. This effect can be enhanced by adding mulch around the crop. (WOCAT SLM Technologies, 2019)

Tube wells

Creating new, or deepening existing tube wells can be an option to reach fresh water from subsurface or deeper groundwater aquifers in longer periods of drought (UNEP-DHI Partnership, UNEP-DTU & CTCN, 2017). Tube wells are easily constructed using a hand auger and a narrow pipe. The latter is driven into a subsurface aquifer. To reach deeper aquifers, one should consider constructing a borehole. A pump is required to transport the water from the aquifer to the surface where it can serve irrigation purposes. Usage of tube wells should go according to strict coordination. If not, the groundwater source is likely to be overexploited due imbalanced recharge. Besides, in areas with a highly variable climate (prone to flooding and/or droughts), tube wells are prone to contamination.

Solar pump

A solar powered pump could be used to transport water from a source (being an underground aquifer or a storage tank) to the field. Solar pumps introduced by the Practica Foundation are wired for remote sensing, allowing for after-sale services and feedback on its functioning and carbon mileage. Taking labour hours into account, this system is cheaper than for example a foot pump. These solar pumps however cannot deliver enough pressure for sprinkler or drip irrigation when pumping water directly from the aquifer. An adapted sprinkler or in-between storage tank would be needed. In the latter case, gravity could reinforce pressure in the system.