Irrigation and Drainage Systems

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 275–297

Rapid field evaluation of drip and microspray distribution uniformity


DOI: 10.1007/s10795-004-2751-x

Cite this article as:
Burt, C.M. Irrig Drainage Syst (2004) 18: 275. doi:10.1007/s10795-004-2751-x


The Cal Poly ITRC irrigation evaluation programs have been widely used to assess the global distribution uniformity (DU) of drip and microsprayer irrigation systems. The field procedures and formulas used in the program are presented in this paper. The system DU is estimated by mathematically combining the component DU values. DU components include pressure differences, “other causes” (such as manufacturing variation, plugging, and wear), unequal drainage, and unequal application rates. Results are presented from evaluations by several entities, including Cal Poly ITRC. Cal Poly evaluations of 329 fields provided an average DUlq of 0.85 for drip and 0.80 for microspray. Approximately 45% of the non-uniformity was due to pressure differences, 52% was due to “other causes”, 1% due to unequal drainage, and 2% due to unequal application rates. The data show that with good design and management, it is possible to have high system DU values for at least a 20-year system life.

Key words

distribution uniformity (DU) drip irrigation efficiency evaluation irrigation microirrigation microspray plugging trickle 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.BioResource and Agriculture Engineering Department and Irrigation Training and Research CenterCalifornia Polytechnic State UniversitySan Luis ObispoUSA

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