University of California

Surge vs. continuous-flow irrigation


David A. Goldhamer
Mohammad H. Alemi
Rebecca C. Phene

Authors Affiliations

David A. Goldhamer is Irrigation and Soil Specialist, Cooperative Extension, University of California Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier; Mohammad H. Alemi is Visiting Soil and Water Scientist, Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, UC Davis; Rebecca C. Phene is Staff Research Associate, Cooperative Extension, Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 41(9):29-31. DOI:10.3733/ca.v041n09p29. September 1987.

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A primary goal of good irrigation management is to minimize deep percolation of water (infiltration exceeding the irrigation requirement) while replenishing soil water in the plant root zone along the entire length of the field. Deep percolation losses depend directly on irrigation system performance, which, in turn, depends mainly on how evenly water infiltrates across the field. Furrow and border irrigation, the primary methods used in the drainage problem area of the San Joaquin Valley's West Side, usually have relatively low uniformities because of (1) unequal infiltration opportunity times for water across the field, and (2) spatial variability in soil water transport properties. Properly designed and managed sprinkler and drip irrigation systems, on the other hand, commonly achieve a better uniformity, since the amounts infiltrated depend primarily on application rates and system design rather than on soil infiltration properties.

Goldhamer D, Alemi M, Phene R. 1987. Surge vs. continuous-flow irrigation. Hilgardia 41(9):29-31. DOI:10.3733/ca.v041n09p29
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