Drip irrigation

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Terms & Synonyms

Official WHO Definition

Irrigation delivery systems that deliver drips of water directly to plants through pipes. Small holes or emitters control the amount of water that is released to the plant. Drip irrigation does not contaminate aboveground plant surfaces (WHO 2006).A direct irrigation method allowing water to leak slowly from pipes to the root zone of the plants. It is also known as trickle or micro irrigation (World Plumbing Council Working Group 2008).

Other Definitions


Interpretations and Explanations

Drip irrigation system is an important innovation in agriculture, after the invention of the impact sprinkler in the 1930s. It replaced flood irrigation. Drip irrigation or subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) uses permanently or temporarily buried dripper line or drip tape located at or below the plant roots. It is critical in areas where water supplies are limited. If recycled water is used spray technology is not permitted to avoid direct human exposure. Careful study of all the relevant factors including land topography, soil, water, crop and agro-climatic conditions is needed to determine the most suitable drip irrigation system for the location (World Plumbing Council Working Group 2008).


WHO (2006) Guidelines for the safe use of wastewater, excreta and greywater


WHO Lexicon page (translations and examples)

See also

External Resources


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