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Vacuum Gauge Tensiometer

Agricultural Water

  1. Mahbub Alam

Published Online: 15 JUL 2005

DOI: 10.1002/047147844X.aw391

Water Encyclopedia

Water Encyclopedia

How to Cite

Alam, M. 2005. Vacuum Gauge Tensiometer. Water Encyclopedia. 3:724–729.

Author Information

  1. Kansas State University, Garden City, Kansas

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2005


Soil water plays an important role in providing water for plant growth. The vacuum gauge tensiometer is a soil water measuring device that is sensitive to soil water change. The quantity of soil water that adheres around soil particles determines the energy level at which it is being retained or pulled. In other words, the plant root has to exert energy to pull water out of a soil matrix. This energy is also expressed as tension the roots experience in removing the water. Tensiometer is like a mechanical root but shows the tension in the vacuum gauge attached to it. It is an indirect method to determine soil water status. Direct measure of water content is time-consuming and labor-intensive, and the result lags behind the current time. Hence, irrigators depend on indirect methods. Vacuum gauge tensiometer is inexpensive, easy to use, and a preferred measurement method, especially for course-textured soils.


  • soil water;
  • vacuum gauge tensiometer;
  • ceramic tip/cup;
  • tensiometer;
  • soil suction