International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)

International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)
Call for Papers | Fully Refereed | Open Access | Double Blind Peer Reviewed

ISSN: 2319-7064

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Research Paper | Agronomy | Kenya | Volume 3 Issue 4, April 2014

Wick Material and Media for Capillary Wick Based Irrigation System in Kenya

John M Wesonga | Cornelius Wainaina | Francis K. Ombwara | Peter W. Masinde | Patrick G. Home

Abstract: With 640m3 annual water recharge, Kenya is classified as a water deficit country hence the need to identify and adopt water saving irrigation and water management strategies. Capillary wick is an innovative technique of irrigation that uses minimal amount of water. Five wick materials namely: Blanket material (BM), Cotton Woven (CW), Cotton Non-woven (CNW), 100 % Polyester Cloth Material (CL) and Imported Wick Material (IWM) were tested for suitability as wick material for the irrigation system. Wick materials were selected based on their water holding capacity (WHC), water absorption pattern (WAP) and maximum capillary height (MCH). In addition, four media types namely: Soil + Sand + Manure (SSM), Soil + Cocopeat + Manure + Sand (SCMS), Soil + Cocopeat + manure + Pumice (SCMP) and Cocopeat + manure + Pumice (CMP) were tested for use in the Capillary Wick Irrigation System (CWS). The media were tested for water holding capacity, water absorption pattern, bulk density and moisture release characteristics (MRC). Of the five wick materials tested, cloth material had the best performance in terms of WAP and MCH but had slightly lower WHC. Therefore cloth material was selected as the best locally available wick material for use in CWS. Of the four media types tested, media SCMP and SSM had the highest performance in terms of WAP and MRC. Evaluation of the materials and media with crops need to be carried out and suitable crops identified for growing in the system.

Keywords: Substrate, water saving, capillary irrigation system, sustainability

Edition: Volume 3 Issue 4, April 2014,

Pages: 613 - 617

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