It is easy to ignore major problems when we are not immediately affected by them. A prime example for this is the irrigation of agricultural areas.
The most advanced and efficient watering systems can be found in the Near East region. This shouldn’t come as a surprise because the region is almost all desert and therefore it is very hard to find any sources of water. Due to its utility the technology has found use in The Republic of Macedonia through the drip system.
Primitive drip irrigation has been used since ancient times. Modern drip irrigation began its development in Germany in 1860 when researchers began experimenting with subsurface irrigation using clay pipe to create combination irrigation and drainage systems. Research was later expanded in the 1920s to include the application of perforated pipe systems. The usage of plastic to hold and distribute water in drip irrigation was later developed in Australia by Hannis Thill. Usage of a plastic emitter in drip irrigation was developed in Israel by Simicha Blass and his son Yeshayahu. Instead of releasing water through tiny holes easily blocked by tiny particles, water was released through larger and longer passageways by using velocity to slow water inside a plastic emitter. The first experimental system of this type was established in 1959 by Blass who partnered later (1964) with Kibbutz Hatzerim to create an irrigation company called Netafim. Together they developed and patented the first practical surface drip irrigation emitter.
The new trends in this technology include underground watering systems which are mounted before the crops have been planted and it’s maintained via the usage of different chemicals safe for the crops. Also there are sensors that detect the level of humidity in the soil and through that the farmers know how much water the plants need.
The drip system has lead to a revolution in the irrigation of agricultural areas because of these main reasons. First the digging of canals has become irrelevant, the system is just mounted and then maintained. Secondly the system is good at keeping all of the fertilizer and nutrients in the soil due to the concentration of drip around the roots of the plants. Also the leveling of the fields is unnecessary because the system can be adjusted to the surface, and erosion and the growth of vegetation has been minimized.
In the Republic of Macedonia financial help is given to the farmers who want to implement this technology in their fields through the Program for rural development and AFSARD programs. The farmers must meet the pre defined conditions if they want to be financed. There is a 30 to 60 day waiting period after the day of application, then the results are published and the farmers that have met the conditions will get their finances around 6 months after the day of application. The farmers get around 50% off of the full cost of the system through these programs.
The drip system has proven to be one of the best ways to irrigate the fields and it is its practicality that makes it so unique and usable in all parts of the world.