Drip irrigation is one of the most efficient systems in delivering water to the plant root zone but it still allows
relatively high evaporation from the saturated zone that develops under emitters especially in clay soils of low infiltration rates. Initial lateral water movement may take a long time in such soils thus exposing surface water to high evaporation. The vertical columns method induces water infiltration keeping the actual water surface deeper in the soil profile. The objective of this research is to compare between the effect of vertical compost and sand columns on the distribution of water in the root zone and the potential for water saving in clay soil. A field experiment was conducted and the results indicated that the vertical mulch allowed more water to remain in the soil profile thereby increasing the irrigation efficiency and has a significant effect on water storage at the 20-60 cm depth. Over time, as the soil is drying up, the significance of the vertical mulch factor increases. Considering the root zone profile as a whole, the compost columns (20 and 40 cm) as well as the 40 cm vertical sand column had higher water content than the surface irrigation plots.