Worthless to say that agriculture is vital for every country as it helps to survive. The process of agriculture includes growing up of crops. For this, there is always a need for abundant water, which can cater to the irrigation only.
Irrigation is a process where the artificial application of water has arranged to give the water to land or soil. It is basically used in dry areas as well as during the days of scarcity of rainfall. In brief, irrigation is a basic infrastructure and significant input required for agricultural production.
The foremost intention of introduction of irrigation is helping out in the growing of agricultural crops and vegetation by providing with the minimum amount of water needed, including maintenance of landscapes as well as re-vegetation of disturbed soils.
In other words, irrigation has many applications in crop production as well, which include:
- Safeguarding plants against frost
- Protecting soil consolidation.
- Suppressing weed growth in grain fields
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Types of Irrigation
There are four basic methods where irrigation water may be applied to the crops, namely Surface irrigation, Sprinkler irrigation, Drip irrigation, and Subsurface irrigation methods. Each method of irrigation has its own pros and cons. Thus, it depends upon the users, which one to opt. It is recommended to choose a particular method after evaluating all the factors and local conditions.
Let’s elaborate on the four types of irrigation methods:
1. Surface Irrigation
Surface irrigation is the creation and distribution of water in an area by way of the gravity flow of water over the soil surface. The soil acts as the developing medium in which water is saved and the conveyance medium over which water flows as it spreads and infiltrates.
Common floor irrigation structures used are rill irrigation, border or furrow irrigation. In other words, ‘surface irrigation’ refers to a broad class of irrigation techniques wherein water is sent over the field by means of overland go with the flow. A waft is introduced at one fringe of the field and covers the sphere regularly.
Advantages of Surface Irrigation
- Best Utilisation of Rain Water: By having the surface irrigation systems, helps to shape your farm in a way to where natural water flow reliably irrigates your plants. Because of this reason, surface irrigation plots are very effective at making use of rainwater; the land has already been optimized for water flow.
- Easiest and affordable: Surface irrigation is the most historic irrigation method and doesn’t require state-of-the-art technology to work. While contemporary hands have substantially progressed the manner, imparting for a superior era that refines surface irrigation to a tee, the bottom line is that you have abundant varieties, and if you want something that’s reasonably priced and easy, you have got that alternative.
2. Subsurface Irrigation
Subsurface irrigation makes use of a community of polyethylene pipes positioned just beneath the floor’s surface to use disinfected effluent inside the root area of plants, preventing airborne drift and declining runoff.
This method of irrigation requires much less protection than surface irrigation, and there may be additionally much less hazard of surface saturation and effluent runoff. By decreasing the threat of human contact, it additionally drastically reduces public health risks.
Advantage of subsurface irrigation
- Permanent subsurface installation needs for less yearly manpower than surface drip installation as well as hike up the life expectancy of the system.
- Dry soil in the furrows enhances trafficability and declines soil compaction
- Water and vitamins are used more effectively
- Cropping with a dry soil floor has the capability to lessen the prevalence of soil-borne illnesses and assist manipulate weed infestation
- Yields and certain fine additives are regularly drastically advanced.
Common issues with subsurface irrigation are
- no longer enough irrigation lines to competently distribute effluent over the required location
- machine no longer designed or permitted for its area
- irrigation strains becoming blocked or damaged
3. Drip Irrigation
Drip irrigation is the most efficient and recommended water and nutrient delivery system for growing crops. It helps to deliver water and vitamins directly to the plant’s roots region accordingly the right and time, thereby each plant receives precisely what it desires, whilst it wishes it, to grow optimally.
With this method of irrigation, farmers can produce higher yields even as saving on the water as well as fertilisers, electricity and even crop protection merchandise.
Drip Irrigation is not only recommended to experience a high ROI compared to other irrigation strategies, it additionally offers farmers an efficient and simple way to function their farms.
Advantages of Drip irrigation
- Huge water financial savings as there will be no evaporation, no runoff, no waste
- Energy savings as it can seamlessly work on low pressure
- Effectual usage of fertiliser and crop protection, without a leaching
- 100% land usage as it irrigates uniformly in any topography and soil kind
- Less dependency on weather, extra stability, and decrease risks
4. Sprinkler Irrigation
Sprinkler Irrigation is a technique of applying irrigation water that is similar to rainfall. Water is distributed through a gadget of pipes generally by way of pumping. It is then sprayed into the air and irrigated complete soil surface via spray heads so that it splits up into tiny water drops which fall to the floor.
Sprinkler device is a specific irrigation system, designed to make sure maximum water saving, combining excessive pleasant, affordability and simplicity of installation.
Advantages of Sprinkler Irrigation
- High efficiency because of uniform water distribution.
- No qualified or experienced manpower is needed to operate the system flawlessly.
- Expansive land levelling is not needed.
- Water saving irrigation intensity can be modified according to the infiltration ability of soil.
- Ease and uniform application of fertilisers and insecticides via irrigation device.
- Possibility of making use of a minute amount of water for germination and different irrigation systems.
Advantages of Irrigation
- It offers efficient coverage for small to massive regions and is suitable to be used on all varieties of homes. It is also adaptable to almost all irrigable soils because sprinklers are available in a huge variety of discharge capability.
- Irrigation makes it feasible to grow cash crops (Fruit gardens, sugarcane, potato, tobacco) which give right returns to the cultivators than the ordinary crops they might have grown in the absence of irrigation.
- Irrigation improves the groundwater storage as water lost due to seepage adds to the groundwater storage.
- New irrigation works are commenced at the time of famines to ensure employment to a large quantity of population. These works are known a famine works.
- For proper nourishment of vegetation, a sure quantity of water is required. If rainfall is insufficient there might be a deficiency in the achievement of water requirement. Irrigation attempts to remove this deficiency precipitated because of insufficient rainfall. Therefore, irrigation involves rescue in dry years.
- Irrigation enhances the yield of plants and makes people or farmers rich.
- Irrigation also provides to the wealth of India as bumper crops are produced due to irrigation. It helps the country to experience self-sufficient in food needs. Besides, the irrigation water is taxed while it’s far furnished to the cultivators, it adds to the revenue.
- When the watering facility is provided to barren land, the value of this land gets liked.
- Sometimes massive irrigation channels can be used as a means of communication.
- The falls which stumble upon the irrigation channels can be utilised for producing hydroelectric power.
- Domestic advantages should not be overlooked. Irrigation facilitates bathing, cattle watering, etc., and improves freshwater circulation as well.
Disadvantages of Irrigation
- Excessive seepage and leakage of water bureaucracy marshes and ponds all alongside the channels. The marshes and the ponds in the course of time emerge as the colonies of the mosquito, which gives rise to diseases like malaria, etc.
- Under irrigation canal device valuable residential and business land is lost.
- The initial cost of irrigation task is very excessive and thereby the cultivators ought to pay greater taxes in the form of levy.
- Excessive seepage into the floor increases the water-desk and this in turn absolutely saturates the crop root-area. It results in water logging of that area.
- It declines the temperature and makes the locality damp due to the presence of irrigation water.
- Irrigation works results in limitations within the way of unfastened drainage of water during the wet season and accordingly effects in submerging status crops or even villages.
To summarize, Irrigation is a method of presenting water to the dry land as supplementation of rainwater. It is basically used for farming purpose. There are various types of systems of irrigation practices across India. Irrigation in India is carried on through canals, perennial canal, wells, tanks, etc.
The irrigation engineer must be familiar with the form of soil moisture, frequency of irrigation, quality of irrigation water, etc. for the right implementation of irrigation system.