A relatively inefficient irrigation system that sprays pressurized water out from a pipe network to simulate rainfall.

In comparison to a flood irrigation system, a sprinkler system is vastly more efficient and regular. While a drip system is much more efficient in relation to a sprinkler system, taking a flood system into account the difference is not as drastic. Additionally, using surface water exclusively in a sprinkler system rather than using groundwater increases the efficiency of the system although still not as efficient as a drip system.

With 52% of Mexico being an arid climate and 31% semi-arid climate the inefficiencies of a sprinkler system from wind and evaporation are further accentuated. Additionally this type of climate means an important source of irrigation has become the 653 aquifers that exist underground. As these aquifers are being used for both drinking and irrigation purposes, the number of aquifers that are not recharging in pace with usage is steadily growing. Ironically, simulating rainfall is less beneficial for areas that are lacking in rainfall.

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Rainfall vs Sprinklers

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  1. Kimmelman, M., 2017. Mexico City, Parched and Sinking, Faces a Water Crisis. The New York Times, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/02/17/world/americas/mexico-city-sinking.html