Scientific research

Irrigation using polyethylene bottles

Author: Knowledge Management in CACILM Phase II, ICARDA.

Definition of technology:

Polyethylene bottles for irrigation are applied as small reservoirs for water or as calibrated water-carrying tubes in the heads of irrigation furrows.

Brief summary of technology:

1. Polyethylene bottles are used to provide moisture for the root system of tree saplings, vegetable crops or as a primitive drip irrigation of a young garden. For this purpose, some punctures with a pricker are made in the side or cover of the bottles (without turning it into a sieve). The bottle is buried into a soil near a plant (Figure 1) or suspended on a wire hook and plant is irrigatedvia a tube – a variant of drip irrigation (Figure 2). It is recommended to use a bottle with a volume of 5 liters, which should suffice for 6-7 days.

2. On relatively leveled fields, water from one discharging furrow moves and is evenly distributed into 10-20 irrigation furrows simultaneously. In this case, the discharge of irrigation water in a discharging furrow should equal 1-2 l/sec provided that 0.1 l/sec of water will be supplied into each furrow.

Furrows are prepared in 4-5 days prior to the beginning of the first irrigation. Then the temporary irrigation ditch (with a depth of 50 cm) and discharging furrows (with a depth of 25 cm) are cut.

Forming and reinforcing of heads of the irrigation furrows with a polyethylene bottle (Figure 3) is conducted to manage water supply in the field. Plastic bottles with cut-off bottom are established at the beginning of an irrigation furrow so that they are located 3 cm higher than a bottom of the furrow and 5 cm below water level of a temporary ditch or 3 cm below water level of a discharging furrow. Upon termination of irrigation a bottle is closed by its cover, and at the end of a vegetative season these bottles are collected and utilized.

Location:. Moscow, Sokuluk, and Alamudun districts, Chuy province.

Area of technology application: 50 ha.

Stage of intervention: rehabilitation / improvement of bare land.

Main land use issues and the main causes of land degradation:

The rainfed land remote from settlements is often not used, they are exposed to wind erosion and landslides, especially on sloping land. Water supply into irrigation furrows without regulation of water flow washes vegetative soil away in a drainage network, causing water erosion.

Main technical features of technology:

Improvement of soil cover, prevention of water erosion, land degradation, increase of soil moisture.

Type of land use Conservation measures

Rainfed arable land.

Cultivation of annual agricultural crops- Во(Ca).

Agronomic measures.

А5: improving of irrigation.



Average annual rainfall: 200-300 mm.

Altitude (meter above sea level): 500-1000 m.

Landscape: mountain and foothill slopes.

Slope (%): >25% (hilly).

Soil fertility: very low.

Humus content in arable horizon: <1%.

Natural soil drainage/infiltration: moderate.

Anthropogenic environment

Size of land area (ha): 0.5-1 ha.

Landholder: small/middle sized, mixed.

Land ownership: 75% individual, 25% state arable land.

Water use rights: through WUAs and organizations responsible for management of irrigation systems on relevant payment.

Market orientation: subsistence farming (self-sufficiency), free market.


Impact of technology

Main advantages:

- use of sloping, non-used land for cultivation of trees and bushes;

- reinforcing of sloping land to prevent erosion and delay of development of erosive processes;

- increase of crop productivity under deficiency of irrigation water.

Main disadvantages:

- continuous tracking of remaining water in the bottles and refilling;

- additional labor costs for installation of bottles and their utilization at the end of the vegetative period.

Acceptance/adoption of technology: A method of use of plastic bottles is used wider in connection with development of unused and sloping land with lack of irrigation water.

Reference (s): Management of the Center of training, consultation and innovation: Bases of crop irrigation in Kyrgyzstan.

Name of person (s) of collected this description: Malik Bekenov, Head of department, Ministry of Agriculture and Land Improvements of Kyrgyzstan.

Address:  96-a, Kiyevskaya str., Bishkek.

Tel.: +996 (551) 20 78 89.





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