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(subsoil irrigation), a method of irrigation whereby water travels along capillaries directly to the root horizon of the soil from a system of underground ceramic pipes with open joints or porous mole drains. Subirrigation is linked to the development of drainage systems and, in particular, two-way land reclamation systems.

For subirrigation, either special systems with irrigation networks composed of piping are built or drainage systems equipped with gates are used. The gates in the canals are closed in the spring when flood waters are dropping (preventive damming) or periodically during the summer (moisture damming). In the latter case water must be fed into the system from a source because summer runoff does not provide adequate moisture. When the gates are closed, runoff stops and the soil is moistened by infiltration of the water from the canals and drains.

Compared to surface irrigation, subirrigation provides better moistening and makes possible the automation of irrigation technology. Subirrigation systems can work efficiently only if the soil is highly permeable to water and the surface of the irrigated fields is level.

Subirrigation is used on relatively small areas in the USA, the Netherlands, the German Democratic Republic, Poland, Great Britain, and elsewhere. In the USSR it is used on the floodplains of the Irpen’, Trubezh (Ukraine), Oressa (Byelorussia), and Moskva rivers.


Bobchenko, V. I. Podpochvennoe oroshenie. Moscow, 1957.
Ridiger, V. R. Podpochvennoe oroshenie po krotovym drenam. Moscow, 1965.
Maslov, B. S., V. S. Stankevich, and V. Ia. Chernenok. Osushitel’nouvlazhnitel’nye sistemy. Moscow, 1973.


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Subirrigation or seepage irrigation is the irrigation method where water is brought at the base of the root area, with the help of some pipes buried underground, thus watering the plants through capillarity.
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Management treatments were free drainage, controlled drainage and subirrigation.
The next step consists in a verification if the structure is fit for a subirrigation system (figure 1b), meaning that it may be used reversibly.
field would continue to receive subirrigation from the water now being
Specifically, this study was conducted to document the rate and type of passive vegetation establishment in Wetland Reservoir Subirrigation Systems (WRSIS) project sites and, thereby, aid in the decision to use passive revegetation in future project sites.
Fausey has designed such a system, called a Wetland Reservoir Subirrigation System.
The "Wetland Reservoir Subirrigation System," as it's known, maintains a constant water table under crops throughout the growing season.
He has set up elaborate, highly instrumented and sophisticated largescale field experimental facilities to assess and quantify the environmental benefits of subirrigation.
Passively revegetated, constructed wetlands are being monitored for water quality improvement capability at three Wetland Reservoir Subirrigation Project (WRSIS) sites on previously converted cropland adjacent to agricultural fields in northwest Ohio.
A professor at the University of British Columbia, Sietan has demonstrated the effects of water table control, both subsurface drainage and subirrigation, on crop growth and drainage water quality.