Drought Mitigation Trade-offs
What are the trade-offs for mitigating drought by using new technologies in farming?
Explore the positive and negative aspects of switching to drip or micro-irrigation systems to reduce water use. The following links can provide a starting point for your research.
- Wikipedia Entry for Drip Irrigation
- An Introduction to Drip Irrigation for small farms
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations' Irrigation Methods Manual: Chapter 6: Drip Irrigation
- Watch this brief video about Drip Irrigation:
Explore the pros and cons of using plastic sheets as mulch around plants to conserve water.
- Plastic Mulch: Harmful or Helpful
- Using Plastic Mulches and Drip Irrigation for Vegetable Production
Build a low-tech drip system
- Gather these materials:
- 1- or 2-liter plastic drink or water bottle with a flat-surfaced cap
- hammer and a small finishing nail OR a hand drill with small drill bit
- serrated knife or tin snips to cut plastic bottle
- potted plant with in a 6-inch or larger diameter pot
- Follow the instructions to make your own Pop Bottle Drip Irrigation System. Use the tools safely.
- Bury your irrigation system as directed so the drip holes are directed toward the roots of the plant.
- Measure the diameter of the pot and calculate the volume of water it would take to flood the pot with 1 inch of water above the soil surface. Compare that volume of water with the estimate of water soaking a 2-inch diameter approximately 1 inch deep around the plant's roots.