Israel is one of the most densely populated countries in the world while yet only 20% of the land is arable and half of that has to be irrigated . More than half of Israel is arid or semi-arid and the rest of the country is dominated by steep hillsides and forest.
Israel’s agriculture is characterized by high technological levels, pressure irrigation systems, automatic and controlled mechanization, and high-quality seeds and plant.
The average annual rainfall varies from 600 to 700 mm in the north to 30 mm in the south. Israel’s population is 6.0 million, of which 90% live in urban areas and 10% in rural areas. The number of farming households is 25,000. Farm employment contributes 3.1%, of the total employment, equivalent to approximately 67,000 persons. Out of the total area, arable land amounts to 652,000 ha. The area actually irrigated is 230,000 ha or approximately 35% of the arable land.
The History of drip irrigation and success:-
Drip irrigation has been used since ancient times. Fan Sheng-Chih Shu, written in China during the first century BCE, describes the use of buried, unglazed clay pots filled with water as a means of irrigation. 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 (http://www.infoplease.com/). The research was later expanded in the 1920s to include the application of perforated pipe systems (http://www.ers.usda.gov/). The usage of plastic to hold and distribute water in drip irrigation was later developed in Australia
Drip irrigation is the most energy and water-efficient of all the irrigation systems. Water savings of up to 50%compared to sprinkler irrigation are common Ideally, water is applied in the proper amount to the root ball of the plant, minimizing water leaching from the root zone and minimizing evaporation of water since the water isn’t sprayed into the air.The water can be emitted at uniform distances along a pipe or a tube with an emitter that directs water to one plant volume of soil.
In the 1960s, drinking water was used for irrigation in Israel. Recently, recycled use of wastewater and nutrients fertigation has been started by mixing with water. Subsurface drip irrigation is a valuable irrigation method in arid and semi-arid regions. Drip irrigation has the highest water efficiency rate in agriculture, reaching a 70to 80% rate, versus open irrigation, which achieves 40%. However, limited research has been conducted in the area of evaluating the effects of salinity on the establishment of crops with SDI in successive seasons. There is a potential for saline-water irrigation of crops in water-scarce areas.
Challenges and constraints of drip irrigation
Major constraints among others include Increased water scarcity; depleting resources, frequent droughts; degradation of water quality; technological uncertainty and high cost of non-conventional sources; rapid urbanization, abandonment, and desertification of agricultural land.
The practice of Israel drip irrigation system is the best solution for environmentally safe, efficient and sustainable agricultural productivity for arid and semi-arid regions of the world to use scarce water resource when compared other existing methods.Further research should be conducted associated with hazards to the environment and sustainable use of scarce noun renewable resources. Therefore, technology currently innovated to alleviate problem of irrigation water resources by Israel is strongly recommended to be adopted in arid and semi arid of the world to increase the productivity. Compared to other methods of irrigation system, drip irrigation has high irrigation water use efficiency. Reduced stomatal conductance and water loss formed high water use efficiency.