Water management is an important part of the management of the spray irrigation system. The quality of water management directly affects whether the spray irrigation system can play its due role. The basic task of water management is to organize sprinkler operations reasonably according to the planning and design of the spray irrigation system, local climate, growth stage, soil moisture, water supply and other conditions, in order to improve irrigation efficiency and maintain good growth status. The specific contents include the following aspects.
Development of watering schedules. The design of spray irrigation systems is generally made based on adverse conditions and can meet large water demand. However, during system operation, watering schedules should be determined based on actual conditions, including watering time, watering duration, watering cycle, etc.
Watering can be done at most times during the day. However, watering should be avoided during midday in hot summers to prevent scorching leaves. Also, evaporation is high at this time, and water utilization is low.
Watering at night can avoid the above situation, but people are often concerned that prolonged wetness of leaves can easily cause diseases. This drawback of night watering can be solved by using fungicides. Watering in the early morning, when sunlight and morning breeze can quickly dry the leaves, is an ideal time to water. However, for non-automatic controlled spray irrigation systems, night and early morning watering can be inconvenient for operators. Therefore, watering in the evening is a better choice.
Watering time is also limited by human activities. Golf courses are generally watered at night so as not to affect daytime players. Football fields should be watered one day before the game to reduce damage to the field during the game and the impact on the players' performance.
The length of watering duration mainly depends on the comprehensive sprinkler intensity of the system and the water-holding capacity of the soil, that is, the field water capacity. When the sprinkler intensity is greater than the soil infiltration strength, there will be waterlogging or runoff. Water cannot fully infiltrate the soil if the watering time is too long, and the watering volume will exceed the field water capacity of the soil, causing deep infiltration and loss of water and nutrients.
Therefore, the general rule is that for sandy soils with high infiltration strength but low field water capacity, the watering duration for each time is short, but the watering frequency is high and the interval is short, i.e. less watering but frequent watering. On the other hand, for soils with higher viscosity, the watering duration per time is long, but the watering frequency is low. The use of instruments for measuring soil moisture can more scientifically determine the watering duration. The electronic soil moisture tester and tensiometer are commonly used instruments for this purpose.
The watering cycle, that is, watering interval or frequency, mainly depends on itself, besides being related to the soil properties mentioned above. Frequent watering can cause a high incidence of diseases, shallow root system, poor trampling resistance, and weak growth. If the watering interval is too long, the lawn will be inhibited due to lack of water, affecting the quality of the lawn.
Watering schedules are not static and should be developed according to different seasons on a bimonthly or monthly basis. However, they need to be adjusted at any time based on actual watering effects and natural rainfall.
Establishment of system operation files: Records should be kept on system operation conditions, including start-up time, watering time, water consumption, electricity consumption, etc. These data should be analyzed in a timely manner to provide a basis for further improving the management and monitoring of system operation status.
Evaluation of watering effects: After the spray irrigation system is put into use, the growth status, extension of the green period, water saving, and labor saving can be visually evaluated. The spray uniformity and utilization of irrigation water can also be evaluated through actual tests, so as to adjust watering schedules in a timely manner and provide reference for improving the planning and design level of future spray irrigation systems.