How to design an irrigation system?

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How to design an irrigation system?

Posted By think waternz     January 17, 2022    


Irrigation is crucial for the agricultural success of New Zealand. However, the obligation of water use efficiency along with environmental management gave rise to continued focus towards advanced irrigation system design. Despite being a water-rich country, we don’t have water sources where we need them the most and therefore irrigation plays an important role in ensuring continuous water flow for the crops. The significant advancements in the irrigation system design Auckland are widely recognized. Using efficient systems is going to save a lot more water, energy, and money for New Zealanders. However, the success of the irrigation technology depends on how efficiently it is designed.


What is an irrigation system?

Irrigation is the technique for water application to manage the nutrient needs of plants and crops. The uniform application is a major benefit of investing in an irrigation system. The uniformity is attained via a network of pipes and sprinklers. 


How many types of irrigation systems are there?

There are various ways to distribute water to the field. The most popular design for irrigation systems in New Zealand include the following:


  • Drip irrigation system: In this system, a network of pipes and emitters is used to slowly drip water on the surface of the soil. The system is designed close to the base of the plant, which makes it suitable for agricultural crops.
  • Subsurface drip irrigation system: Similar to the drip irrigation system, in this design the network of tubing is installed under the soil to reduce the chances of evaporation.
  • Sprinklers systems: A series of pipes and sprinkler heads are used in this system to water larger areas. Ideal for lawns and golf courses, the system is available in the variants of pop-up sprinklers and impact sprinklers.
  • Centre pivot system: It consists of a movable system where sprinkler irrigation technique is used. The choices in pivot system designs are endless, including some advanced models which are equipped with GPS.
  • Hard hose irrigation system: In oddly shaped fields where center pivot systems are not viable; the hard hose design works best. It is also a movable irrigation system suitable for large-sized fields.
  • Mist irrigation system: In this system, the sprinkler heads are designed with a spray pattern to efficiently water nurseries and greenhouses.
  • Bush irrigation system: The system is designed with mini sprinkler heads to efficiently water shrubs and trees. It works on the mist irrigation technique.



Which one is the best?

Modern irrigation systems are designed to reduce water loss. To achieve this aim, drip irrigation systems are considered the best choice. To select the most suitable system design, one must determine certain aspects, like the field area, the crop, the type of soil, and of course the climatic condition. For residential areas in      Auckland, drip irrigation is suitable, however for areas with land slopes, clogging of the tubes would be more frequent. On the other hand, high-pressure sprinklers are efficient; but for windy areas like Auckland, this system might not be a viable choice. Considering the drawbacks of every system is a prerequisite to finding a suitable choice. For more information, discussing the options with a professional is always preferred.


How to design an irrigation system?

In order to design an irrigation system, you need to determine the source of water, the size of the field, and the type of plants. The schedules for irrigation along with the rainfall possibilities are also important to make an informed decision.

If you are planning the system for high-value crops then considering the above factors is important to make the most out of your investment. 


The irrigation system is not just a network of tubes and emitters; there are complex calculations behind the system design. For instance, the growth stage of the plants, the rate of evapotranspiration, and system feasibility. Expert guidance is important to pick the most profitable irrigation system design NZ. If interested, you can consult the irrigation specialists at Think Water. They have decades of expertise in irrigation system design, installation, and services in New Zealand.