No sprinkler heads rising like swans in a ballet to spew water 18-inches above the ground, splashing sidewalks and gutters. No sprinklers nodding back and forth sending sprays of water as tall as a child. Nope, it's irrigation dripping directly at the base of a stem or water bubbling at dirt-level.
You can't get much more direct than an olla (pronounced oy-ya). In the irrigation world, an olla is a clay pot, usually with a round bottom and a longish thin neck that is planted in the dirt next to plants that need water. The dirt is mounded around the pot so that only the end of the neck shows. Water is poured into the opening to fill the buried pot. The clay absorbs water that in turn is absorbed by the dry earth surrounding it. The plant gets a slow steady supply of water. Because the pot is buried, there's little exposure to the air and evaporation.
Of course, below ground there's nothing stopping the continuous flow of water in a radius around the olla.
Her current experiment is fill wine bottles and bury the neck in the dirt. We have something similar with a potted plant on her patio. That plant, however, has a clay plant nanny that helps keep the water in the bottle from draining through the pot. It works well enough that the bottle only needs to be filled about once a week.
I have my doubts about the planted wine bottles. But, as usual, we'll see. I do have some spare plant nannies, so we have a Plan B.
Follow-up: The water isn't rushing out of the wine bottles, but it's also not having an appreciable effect on the hydration of the plants. We haven't moved to the plant nannies yet.