Knowledge of the wetted perimeter of soil arising from infiltration of water from trickle irrigation drippers is important in the design and management of efficient systems. A user-friendly software tool, WetUp, has been developed to help highlight the impact of soils on water distribution in trickle-irrigated systems. WetUp determines the approximate radial and vertical wetting distances from an emitter in homogeneous soils calculated using analytical methods, and then uses an elliptical plotting function to approximate the expected wetted perimeter. In this paper we describe WetUp and use examples to demonstrate how it can be applied. We also compare the wetted perimeter predicted using WetUp with that predicted by other methods. Results show that the wetting pattern is well described by the ellipsoidal approximation for slowly permeable soils, but that it tends to underestimate the radial wetting in highly permeable soils, particularly as the volume of applied water increases. The error is, however, small in most cases, and of minimal concern when applying WetUp to illustrate the important role that soil hydraulic properties play in determining wetting patterns.
Cook, F. J., Thorburn, P. J., Fitch, P., & Bristow, K. (2003). WetUp: A software tool to display approximate wetting patterns from drippers. Irrigation Science, 22(3-4), 129-134. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00271-003-0078-2