There is no longer a dispute over the “World Water Crisis” even those of us
living in communities seemingly unaffected by water shortage are being
called on to conserve and contribute to the water table in other areas.
Drip water systems have long been the choice for effective and efficient
irrigation, but are quickly proving to be big consumers of water compared
to new, and newly discovered, Alternative Irrigation Systems.
Two of the most popular and cost effective solutions used today in crisis
areas are Deep Pipe Irrigation, and Buried Clay Pot Irrigation.
Deep Pipe Irrigation uses an open vertical or near vertical pipe to
concentrate irrigation water in the deep root zone. This type of irrigation
does not require water filters or pressurization, it is relatively easy and cost
effective to set up as well as repair. Deep root distribution of water
provides for better efficiency (no evaporation) as well as significant weed
control.  A commercial system is now available.
Buried Clay Pot Irrigation is an ancient (500 BC) technique of burying
closed clay pots filled with water as a way to slowly distribute water based
on the specific needs of the neighboring plant. The rate that water is
released is determined by the plant itself, leading to high efficiency and
water savings. The system applies to seedlings as well if a small pot is used
within a larger pot to irrigate the baby plants, and ambient moisture and
rainfall can be collected quite efficiently with a well- designed lid.
Although commercial products are available, most standard red clay
garden pots are most often used.
For more on this system and it’s history click here
The two methods discussed here, are explored further by author David
Bainbridge. To view the full report including information on “waffle gardening” and
“perforated piping” you can visit his website.