Agriculture is an important economic activity. It is the backbone of many economies. Many countries rely on their agricultural exports. This has led to numerous innovations in this field that have helped improve the agricultural produce of a region.
Plumbing refers to the conveyance of fluids from a source. It uses a system of pipes that convey the fluid, fixtures that enable the fluid to move in different directions, valves that regulate the flow of the fluid within the pipes and tanks that are used to store the fluid. The application of plumbing systems to agriculture has greatly boosted the yield.
Plumbing has become essential in agriculture. It has made it possible to supply water to plants through a process known as irrigation. Irrigation is a method by which water is disbursed to plants at regular intervals. This has proved to be a useful method especially in dry areas where rainfall is not dependable. It has also made agriculture easier in the following ways:
1. Regulating the flow of water.
Plumbing mechanisms can be automated and preset to release a certain amount of water at a certain time. This helps to ensure that there is constant flow of water. An example of such a mechanism is the sprinkler. The sprinkler method of irrigation ensures that plants are watered at regular intervals. This method is very convenient because does not require too much supervision and it can be automated.
2. Equal distribution of water with minimum wastage.
Drip irrigation uses pipes with holes or outlets that are evenly spaced all along its edge. When water is passed through theses pipes, small droplets of water pass through the holes or outlets onto the plants. In this method, the plants get equal amounts of water at regular intervals. Furthermore, wastage is minimized because the flow of water is limited to drops. Similar to the sprinkler, the supervision required is minimal, save for the checking of blocked holes and other problems such as leakages.
3. Highly economic.
Using pipes to convey water to your plants eliminates the need for excessive human labor which can be costly if agriculture is being practiced at a large scale. Using them has also made it easier to monitor your usage of water, therefore enabling you to save as much of the resource as possible. Other than the costs of maintenance of the water distribution system, unnecessary costs are not incurred. It is easily managed and moreover, a single source of water can be used to supply the entire farm, if managed properly.
4. Removing excess water.
This is achieved using a process called tile draining. This process is basically the opposite of irrigation whereby instead of the addition of water, water is drained from the soil in order to make the moisture levels conducive for the growth of plants. This can be done by pumping the water out using pipes. This prevents the plants from dying off due to malformation of the roots and makes the land more accessible.
Plumbing has made it easier to supply one of the key requirements for healthy growth to plants and animals.