Drip Irrigation Can Reduce Greenhouse-Gas Emissions from Soil

Field studies at University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources’ Desert Research and Extension Center revealed that drip irrigation is not only more water efficient, but it can also dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the soil. In comparison to furrow irrigation, drip irrigation in alfalfa reduced per-yield soil carbon dioxide emissions by 59%, nitrous oxide by 38%, and nitric oxide by 20%. For sudangrass, drip irrigation decreased water demand by 49% and reduced soil emissions of nitrous oxide by 59% and nitric oxide by 49%. Researchers point out that the state of California offers financial incentives to help growers offset the cost of switching to drip irrigation.