by Stuart Spaulding,
CLIA Certified Landscape Irrigation Auditor Training & Communications Manager at DIG Corp.


Drip irrigation is the slow, precise application of water and nutrients directly to the plant root zone in a predetermined pattern. A drip irrigation design can be customized to meet specific needs while maintaining an optimum moisture level within the root zone areas to encourage successful plant growth. A proper balance of water and air is provided directly to the plants, conserving water that might otherwise be lost to non-growth areas, runoff, sun or wind. Drip irrigation, useful for any commercial or residential installation, may be of critical benefit for cities and municipalities that face water restrictions while aspiring to maintain or expand their green areas.

As long as water is inexpensive, irrigation inefficiency and over-watering may be overlooked. Once water supply is low due to a drought and water restrictions are applied, however, the inefficiencies of a poorly designed and installed irrigation system quickly become apparent. For an irrigation system to be successful, it must be properly designed with appropriate components and layout, and, equally important, it must be appropriately maintained.

One of the main advantages of DIG Corporation’s Maverick or TOP twelve-outlet drip manifolds over conventional irrigation systems is the flexibility to adapt to any landscape layout above or below grade, in any location, with immediate water saving to the site. They allow architects and contractors to customize an irrigation system to meet a specific need while fulfilling today’s irrigation requirements.

Water requirements

This calculation is based on a 12 months water requirements for mix planting in SCA used with one sprinkler or one 12 outlet drip emitter in a 8 to 10 Square feet area

To simplify the relationships between plants, water requirements and the environment, the term evapotranspiration is often used. Originally established for agriculture, where irrigation requirements are well documented, evapotranspiration measures the loss of water for various crops planted by farmers. Evapotranspiration takes into consideration the loss of water from the plant surface, the evaporation of water from the soil and the water lost through transpiration during a specific time period. Historical values for many crop types have been recorded and are made available through agricultural extension services. The information we used is base on evapotranspiration measures and factors based for landscape application

Side by side comparative analysis of popup sprinkler and 12-outlet drip system

Calculation is based on publicly available data source (Rain bird, Toro and Hunter)

Note: The flow information for the sprinklers evaluated in this list are rated at pressure range of 30 PSI, higher pressure is not available. The 12-outlet drip head flow rate has the same flow rate @ pressure range of 15 to 80 PSI

Water Saving Calculation Per One Month

Calculation is based on publicly available data.

Scenario 1: Pop up sprinkler system with coverage of 10’:

Pop up sprinkler Rain bird series 10 MPR, 180 degrees with flow rate of .79 GPM at 30 PSI (average home pressure; may vary and usually is higher then 30 PSI).

Flow rate of .79 GPM x 60=47.4 gallons per hour x 30 minutes per week of irrigation =23.7 gallons per week or 94.8 gallons per month.

Precipitation rate in inches per hour: .76”/hour

Scenario 2: 12-outlet drip emitter with a flow rate of 3.3 GPH per outlet at any pressure of 10-80 PSI or 39.6 GPH per all outlets with coverage of 10’:

Flow rate of .66 GPM x 60=39.6 gallons per hour x 30 minutes per week of irrigation =19.8 gallons per week or 79.2 gallons per month.

Precipitation rate in inches per hour: .75”/hour/per outlet