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Drip Irrigation on the Navajo Nation

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  5th National Decennial Irrigation Conference Proceedings, 5-8 December 2010, Phoenix Convention Center, Phoenix, Arizona USA  IRR10-9080.(doi:10.13031/2013.35887)
Authors:   Edward C Martin, Duncan Mark Livingston
Keywords:   drip irrigation, gravity irrigation

Water supply and conveyance on the Navajo Nation is limited and many people are required to haul water for daily use from collection points. There are also large areas where electricity is not available. Simple drip irrigation systems offer an efficient water use solution for the cultivation of limited amounts of crops in rural areas without the need for a mainline water or electrical power supply. This paper discusses several systems that have been installed throughout the Navajo Nation over the past 5 years. The original project, a two-year study, was initiated in 2005 at the Hubbell Trading Post, a National Park Historic Site, located in Ganado, Arizona. Drums filled with water supplied from a newly installed irrigation pipeline were used to feed low-pressure drip tape by gravity flow, in order to cultivate native corn. This system was followed by similar drip systems in Canyon del Muerto, Canyon de Chelly, Dine College and in Luepp Arizona. In all cases, local residents took the initiative to install and maintain the drip systems.

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