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Micro-irrigation allows for efficient irrigation, resulting in savings of water and power, and a reduction in chemical needs. Micro-irrigation is not a new irrigation practice, it has been around since the late 1960’s and was initially utilized as an agricultural irrigation best management practice for areas with harsh climates and limited water supplies. The use of micro-irrigation accelerated with the advent of polyethylene tubing. In today’s market, drip irrigation is now used extensively in both agricultural and landscape irrigation. The term micro-irrigation includes: drip emitters (point source, drip line, and multiple outlet) and micro-spray. When the drip line is buried it is termed sub-surface drip irrigation (SDI).
This Potential Best Management (PBMP) report will refer to drip and micro-irrigation synonymously, and call out differences where appropriate. Bubblers, which is often considered a component of micro-irrigation, is not included in this PBMP as is categorized as a sprinkler by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. Additionally, this report will only focus on those emitters designed for use within landscape irrigation system, excluding emitters that are used exclusively for agricultural irrigation.