Sustainability and water conservation are on everyone's mind these days and California is no stranger to drought conditions. So back in the fall of last year when the Water District issue was heating up in Paso Robles, we contacted Dr. Chahbani of Chahtech Technologies, Djerba Island, Tunisa. He has designed a new technique for underground irrigation (based on the old world concept of clay pots) that represents 50% less of what is delivered using standard drip irrigation.
Initially, we emailed and Skyped technical details back and forth for a few weeks so he could ensure correct irrigation fractions and timing for our blocks of trees with the diffusers according to the stages of fruit development. He was very knowledgeable & thorough since this is his field of teaching, and he too manages his own olive grove. By far, he has tested & established these diffusers as being the most cutting-edge, efficient underground irrigation system on the farming market.
We finally received the diffusers in March and installation has now begun. Irrigation pipe will be fully buried and diffusers are placed 60 cm (2 ft.) down to get the water and nutrients immediately where it needs to be, in the vicinity of the root ball. The initial costs & labor will outweigh the long-term benefits for saving water, energy, well pumps, dispensing fertilizers, weed control and for productivity.
We are excited to be one of the first in California to be installing these buried diffusers on olive trees! Best of all,watering is gravity fed and only applied 4 times a year - now that's smart water usage!