The California Microirrigation Pocket Guide

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By Mike Morris, Larry Schwankl

Published: 2008

Updated: 2011



150 pages

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This 150 page "take-to-the-field" guidebook packs an impressive amount of how-to information into a small (4" x 6.5") format that fits into your hip pocket. The book provides clear, step-by-step instructions for managing and maintaining all types of microirrigation systems, including both drip systems and microsprinklers.

One half of the book explains how to manage and maintain a microirrigation system—irrigating at the right times, and with the right amounts of water, for optimal plant growth and quality. The other half of the book gives exceedingly detailed recommendations for maintaining pumps, motors, and engines. The book contains over three dozen tables and figures, 12 pages of handy conversions and formulas, a troubleshooting guide for pumps and motors, a glossary of terms, and a list of resources for California irrigators. There are crop-specific watering recommendations for over 20 California growing regions.

The book will be useful to beginning and experienced irrigators alike—whether or not they live in California.

Table of Contents

  1. System Management & Maintenance

    • Microirrigation Basics: Advantages, disadvantages, layout, types of emitters.

    • Determining How Much Water to Apply: Using historical and real-time ET information, DIY methods. Includes tables for many crops and regions.

    • Determining Your Application Rate: Using flowmeters, direct measurement, or pressure measurement.

    • Determining How Long to Run Your System: Applying a desired depth of water or number of gallons per plant.

    • Monitoring Soil Moisture: How soils hold water, choosing the right monitoring method, tips and suggestions.

    • Measuring Water in Plant Tissues: How pressure chambers work, guidelines for interpreting pressure chamber readings for some orchard crops.

    • Maintaining Your System: Checking for leaks, cleaning filters, flushing lines, preventing and solving clogging problems; options for organic growers.

    • Chemigation: Rules, regulations, guidelines, and precautions; table of incompatibilities related to fertilizers.

    • Salinity: Salinity basics, patterns under drip irrigation, coping strategies.

    • Resources for California Irrigators: Federal and state agencies, non-profit organizations, universities, and consultants.

    • Glossary of Microirrigation Terms

  2. Pumps, Motors, & Engines

    • Recommended Installations: Centrifugal and turbine pumps, control panels.

    • Pumping Plant Maintenance: Electric motors, control panels, engines, and centrifugal or turbine pumps; includes a troubleshooting guide.

    • Saving Energy: Causes of wasted energy, hardware improvements, understanding your power bill, working with your utility.

    • Conversions and Formulas: Flow, volume, weight, length, area, temperature, pressure, power, electrical usage, head loss, and water velocity. Also a simple way to estimate pumping plant efficiency.

Note: Digital downloads are in full color. Printed, mailed copies are only available in black & white.


This page was last updated on: May 7, 2019