I always talk about how drip irrigation uses less water to grow more, but this is only one side of the story. Since agriculture uses 70% of the world’s available fresh water, in order to enhance sustainability even further, we need to not only use less water for irrigation, but reuse the water that was already used – irrigation with recycled wastewater.
Challenges of wastewater recycling
Wastewater has been recognized as being effective for irrigation. Of course it has to be applied carefully, as it is not recommended to “spray” this unclean water to the air, and we must prevent its contact with wildlife. So drip irrigation, and especially subsurface drip irrigation, is the best candidate for this purpose. However, using recycled wastewater in drip irrigation is challenging as it requires advanced technologies that will prevent the clogging of the drippers.
Netafim’s SDI is the ideal irrigation solution for wastewater
Netafim has developed SDI – subsurface drip irrigation for irrigation with wastewater, as it is the only method that prevents the contaminated water from coming into contact with the ground’s surface and crops. It also protects wildlife, as animals are not at risk of drinking polluted water. These are in addition to the regular advantages of using SDI for irrigation with freshwater, which include: less evaporation, protection from damage, animals, and vandalism, prevention of weeds, and administration of water and nutrients directly to the roots.
Netafim has especially designed SDI for use with recycled water –its drippers are with a wider flow path, it has water source filtration, integral filtration and self-cleaning of the dripper, a non-leakage mechanism, and pulse and low-flow systems. SDI features a built-in physical barrier to prevent root intrusion, antisiphon drippers to prevent clogging.
Successful wastewater usage in the Bedouin city of Rahat
In the Bedouin city of Rahat, we have successfully installed an irrigation system of purified wastewater in its potato fields. Together with Odis, a filter manufacturer and a long time supplier of Netafim, we have also installed an irrigation system in a Crete hotel for using their recycled water to irrigate their gardens.
Netafim’s SDI solution is expected to be widely used in the coming years.