Deep Root Irrigation Research

animated graphic demonstrating how DRI works
How DRI works.

Deep Root Irrigation (DRI) began field testing its devices with grapevines in 2011 in Napa Valley, California. The following year, the company expanded testing to olive trees. Since that time, results consistently have demonstrated healthy grapevines and fruit and nut trees that thrive on dramatically less irrigation water.


The Sentek™ Test

Deep Root Irrigation can use 61.5% less water than does surface drip, according to an independent test. And DRI can achieve 50% soil saturation in half the time that surface drip requires (see video below). Download a copy of Professional Grower Services’ report on the test’s results.

Time-lapse video compares DRI and surface drip soil saturation levels and the time required to exceed 50%. The soil moisture data were collected by Sentek™ Drill and Drop soil moisture probes; images of the soil water content were captured by Sentek’s IrriMAX Live web-based software. For an excellent description of how to interpret the IrriMAX images, see Sentek’s YouTube video.

 

The 6-Hour Test

graph comparing soil saturation with drip and Deep Root Irrigation systems

An independent study conducted November 5, 2014, by Coastal Viticultural Consultants found that—even after six hours—increases in soil saturation at levels of up to 48 inches below the surface were significantly greater with the DRI-12 than with a drip irrigation system.

  • 12 inches:

    2 times the drip system’s saturation increase

  • 24 inches:

    5.75 times the drip system’s saturation increase

  • 36 inches:

    20 times the drip system’s saturation increase

  • 48 inches:

    4.5 times the drip system’s saturation increase

 

The 30-Minute Test

Deep Root Irrigation’s inventor Jeff Ciudaj tested a DRI-12 and a drip irrigation unit installed near each other and simultaneously operated for 30 minutes, then photographed a cross-section of the soil where each was placed. The soil around the DRI-12 (see image below left) was significantly more saturated than was the soil around the drip device (see image below right).

photo of cross-section of earth after 30 minutes with Deep Root Irrigation system
Cross-section of soil after 30 minutes with a Deep Root Irrigation device.
photo of cross-section of earth after 30 minutes with drip irrigation
Cross-section of soil after 30 minutes with a drip irrigation device.

 

 

Professional Grower Services Report on Sentek's DRI test results
Select the above image to download a copy of Professional Grower Services’ report on results of DRI versus surface drip test conducted in October 2015.

 


CVC Soil Saturation Profile Charts
Select the above image to download a copy of Coastal Viticultural Consultants’ profile charts for the 6-hour soil saturation test.