Drip irrigation delivers water through a network of pipes, tubes and emitters to the base of each plant. Emitters release water in controlled amounts. These are usually in small droplets or a slow trickle. Water is applied at a rate matching the uptake of water of the individual plant. This ensures minimal runoff and efficient utilisation.
Initially, drip irrigation is expensive to install. However, it is cost-effective because it reduces the need to retrieve pipes for maintenance purposes. As water becomes scarcer throughout South Africa, this method of irrigation is probably the irrigation system of choice in the future.
There is no soil erosion with drip irrigation. Unlike that associated with sprinklers and flood irrigation.