Introduction: Solar Irrigator Using Saline Water
As of today, the methodologies used for watering crops in agriculture are driven by manually set times, irrespective of the individual plant’s needs. However, in a time where water conservation is crucial, a better approach would be to irrigate water based on the individual plant needs to increase the efficiency of water usage. Since, Sri Lanka is an Agricultural country, it is important to use water in efficient manner due to the scarcity of good quality water. In this view, the present study was conducted to explore the possibility of using saline water using solar evaporation techniques as a new method to improve the soil moisture content at the root zone using the water device made up of waste plastic bottles.
To prepare the watering device, inverted five liter water bottle were placed near to the plant. One liter water bottle was installed in the middle of the inner section of the five liter bottle. Small tube was fixed at the lid of the 5 liter bottle and directs the evaporated water to the rootzone of the plant. Sea water was collected and poured into the one liter bottle. Four treatments were set to the plots such as saline water irrigation using traditional method (T1), well water irrigation using traditional method (T2), saline water irrigation using watering device (T3) and well water irrigation using watering device (T4). Salinity level of the irrigation water was measured using salinity Refractometer. Plant height and leaf numbers were recorded during the growth period and the yield data also measured during harvesting. Results were analyzed using SPSS statistics Version 19. The results revealed that, all the tomato plants applied with the treatment T1 were permanently wilted after the 10th day of planting. However, there was no significant variations were observed in plant height, leaf and yield of tomato among the treatments T2, T3 and T4. Therefore, sea water irrigation with solar evaporation techniques can also be used in modern agriculture especially to low water required crops. At the same time, farmers will be able to conserve water and reduce the operational cost of cultivation.