What are the sources of irrigation?

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Sources and Methods of Irrigation The monsoonal rainfall in India is concentrated only in four months and more than 50% of the net sown area is rainfed only. Irrigation is thus essential to overcome spatial and temporal variation of rainfall. Archaeological and historical records show that from ancient... read more

Sources and Methods of Irrigation

 

The monsoonal rainfall in India is concentrated only in four months and more than 50% of the net sown area is rainfed only. Irrigation is thus essential to overcome spatial and temporal variation of rainfall.

Archaeological and historical records show that from ancient times we have been constructing sophisticated hydraulic structures like dams built of stone rubble, reservoirs or lakes, embankments and canals for irrigation. Not surprisingly, we have continued this tradition in modern India by building dams in most of our river basins. Before we look at these methods of irrigation in detail, let’s have a look at some of the hydraulic structures used in ancient India!

Some Hydraulic Structures used in Ancient India:

  • In the first century BC, Sringaverapura near Allahabad had sophisticated water harvesting system channelling the flood water of the river Ganga.
  • During the time of Chandragupta Maurya, dams, lakes and irrigation systems were extensively built.
  • Evidences of sophisticated irrigation works have also been found in Kalinga (Orissa), Nagarjunakonda (Andhra Pradesh), Bennur (Karnataka), Kolhapur (Maharashtra), etc.
  • In the eleventh century, Bhopal Lake, one of the largest artificial lakes of its time was built.
  • In the 14th century, the tank in Hauz Khas, Delhi was constructed by Iltutmish for supplying water to the Siri Fort Area.

Coming back to irrigation in the present day India, let’s look at some important facts and figures before we move forward:

Some important facts and figures:

  • The net irrigated area = 66.1 million hectares.
  • Total/Gross Irrigated Area = 92.6 million hectares.
  • Irrigation Intensity in India = (Gross Irrigated Area ÷Gross Sown Area) * 100

= (92.6 ÷ 194.4) *100

= 47.6%

More than 50% of the country’s cropped area depends exclusively on rainfall, most of which is concentrated in a few months of the year. Even where the annual overall precipitation is high, the available moisture is not adequate to support multiple cropping.

Ultimate Irrigation Potential:

As seen in the above figures, only about 66mha i.e. 47.6% of the net sown area is estimated to be irrigated. There is a need to bring more cropped area under assured irrigation so as to increase agricultural productivity and production.

The total ultimate irrigation potential of the country has been estimated as 140mha, with about 76 mha from surface water sources and about 64mha from groundwater sources.

Irrigation – Sources and Methods

The main sources of irrigation in India are:

  1. Canals
  2. Wells (and tubewells)
  3. Tanks

The relative importance of these has been changing from time to time. Let’s look at these in detail:

1. Canal Irrigation:

  • A canal is an artificial watercourse constructed for water supply and irrigation.
Sardar Sarovar Canal in Gujarat
  • There are two types of canals:
    1. Inundation Canals – These are taken out from the rivers without any regulating system like weirs etc at their head. Such canals are useful only during the rainy season
    2. Perennial Canals – These are those which are taken off from perennial rivers by constructing a barrage across the river. Most of the canals at present in India are perennial.
  • Canals can be an effective source of irrigation in areas of low relief, deep fertile soils, perennial source of water and an extensive command area. Therefore the main concentration of canal irrigation is in the northern plains.
  • The canals are practically absent from the peninsular plateau region because of rocky terrain. However, the coastal and the delta regions in South India have some canals for irrigation.
Canal Irrigation in India
  • The percentage of canal irrigation area to total irrigated area in the country has fallen from about 40% in 1950-51 to less than 25% at present.
  • The states UP, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Bihar account for about 60% of the canal irrigated area in the country.
  • Merits of canal irrigation:
    1. Perennial Source
    2. Provides safety from droughts
    3. Brings fertile sediments to the fields
    4. Economical to serve a large area
  • Demerits:
    1. Canal water soaks into the ground and leads to water logging, increases salinization, and leads to marshy conditions leading to malaria and flooding
    2. Wastage of water.

2. Wells (and Tube Wells)

  • A well is a hole dug in the ground to obtain the subsoil water. An ordinary well is about 3-5 metres deep but deeper wells up to 15 metres are also dug.
  • This method of irrigation has been used in India from time immemorial. Various methods are used to lift the ground water from the well. Some of the widely used methods are the persian wheel, reht, charas or mot, and dhinghly (lever) etc.
  • A tube well is a deeper well (generally over 15 metres deep) from which water is lifted with the help of a pumping set operated by an electric motor or a diesel engine.
A Tubewell
  • Well irrigation is gradually giving way to energized tube wells. But there are many wells still in use where electricity is not available or the farmers are too poor t0 afford diesel oil.
  • This method of irrigation is popular in those areas where sufficient sweet ground water is available.
  • It is particularly suitable in areas with permeable rock structure which allows accumulation of ground water through percolation. Therefore wells are seen more in areas with alluvial soil, regur soil, etc. and less seen in rocky terrain or mountainous regions.
  • These areas include a large part of the great northern plains, the deltaic regions of the Mahanadi, the Godavari, the Krishna and the Cauvery, parts of the Narmada and the Tapi valleys and the weathered layers of the Deccan trap and crystalline rocks and the sedimentary zones of the peninsula
  • However, the greater part of peninsular India is not suitable for well irrigation due to rocky structure, uneven surface and lack of underground water.
  • Large dry tracts of Rajasthan, the adjoining parts of Punjab, Haryana and Gujarat and some parts of Up have brackish ground water which is not fit for irrigation and human consumption and hence unsuitable for well irrigation
  • At present irrigation from wells and tubewells accounts for more than 60% of the net irrigated area in the country.
  • UP has the largest area under well irrigation which accounts for 28% of the well irrigated area of the country. U.P., Rajasthan, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh account for about three-fourths of the total well-irrigated area
Source
  • Merits of well irrigation
    • Simplest
    • Cheapest
    • Well is an independent source of irrigation and can be used as and when the necessity arises. Canal irrigation, on the other hand, is controlled by other agencies and cannot be used at will.
    • Some ground water salts are useful for crops
    • Does not lead to salinization and flooding problems
    • There is a limit to the extent of canal irrigation beyond the tail end of the canal while a well can be dug at any convenient place.
  • Demerits
    • Only limited area can be irrigated. Normally, a well can irrigate 1 to 8 hectares of land.
    • Not suitable for dry regions
    • Overuse may lead to lowering of water table

3. Tank irrigation

  • A tank is a reservoir for irrigation, a small lake or pool made by damming the valley of a stream to retain the monsoon rain for later use.
A Tank in Tamil Nadu
  • It accounts for approximately 3% of the net irrigated area in India.
  • Tank Irrigation is popular in the peninsular plateau area where Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are the leading states.
  • Andhra Pradesh has the largest area (29%) of tank irrigation in India followed by Tamil nadu (23%).
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Debate pro and maths' master

Water which we need for irrigation is obtained from different sources. 45% of water needs are fulfilled by canals and tubewells. Rivers are also very important source. Well irrigation is common in alluvial soil areas except for rajasthan. Canals are second most important source. Apart from these rain... read more
Water which we need for irrigation is obtained from different sources. 45% of water needs are fulfilled by canals and tubewells. Rivers are also very important source. Well irrigation is common in alluvial soil areas except for rajasthan. Canals are second most important source. Apart from these rain water and ground water is useful in areas which are technologically not advance. read less
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Sources of Irrigation in India First Published: June 10, 2011 | Last Updated:October 2, 2015 According to Agricultural Census 2010-11, India ??s total area under irrigation is 64.7 million hectares. Of this maximum 45% is shared by tube wells followed by Canals and wells. We note... read more
Sources of Irrigation in India First Published: June 10, 2011 | Last Updated:October 2, 2015 According to Agricultural Census 2010-11, Indiaâ??s total area under irrigation is 64.7 million hectares. Of this maximum 45% is shared by tube wells followed by Canals and wells. We note here that since 1950-51, the government had given considerable importance to the development of command area under canals. In 1950-51, the Canal irrigated area was 8.3 million hectares and it currently stands at 17 million hectares. Despite that, the relative importance of Canals has come down from 40% in 1951 to 26% in 2010-11. On the other hand, the well and tube well accounted for 29% total irrigated area and now they share 64% of the total irrigated area. This implies that â??despite of heavy public expenditure on canals, our governments have not been able to reduce the groundwater depletionâ?? done by the remarkable progress of the tube wells in last many decades. The key reason is widening gap between irrigation potential created and actually utilized. Contents [hide] States under Well Irrigation States under Canal irrigation Major States under Tank irrigation: States under Well Irrigation Well Irrigation is common in alluvial plains of the country except the deserts of Rajasthan. Plains of UP, Bihar, Gujarat, Karnataka & Tamil Nadu are the states which are more prominently under the well irrigation. States under Canal irrigation Canals are second most important source of irrigation in India after wells and tube wells. The Canals are irrigating those lands which have large plains, fertile soils and perennial rivers. The plains of North India are mostly canal irrigated. Other parts are coastal low lands and some parts of Peninsular India. The states are: Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, West Bengal, Punjab Rajasthan, Bihar, Karnataka, Tamilnadu and UP. Major States under Tank irrigation: The Tank irrigation is more in the rocky plateau area of the county, where the rainfall is uneven and highly seasonal. The Eastern Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Interiors of Tamil Nadu and some parts of Andhra Pradesh have more land under tank irrigation read less
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Asst Professor (Tuition for MBA,BBA,B.COM, Engineering , Maths and science for all classes)

ground water, surface water, rainfall, waste water from industry and agriculture, etc
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Tutor

as per the survey of 2010-11,source of irrigation in india are : 1. tube well - 45% 2. canal- 26% 3. well - 19% 4. tank - 3% 5. other - 7%
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Maths Tutor

ground water source ,surface water source and some agricultural and industrial processof sources
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Maths tutor maths tuition science tuition science tutor

Underground water,water from canal system,Rain water are major source not necessarily in the order of their utilisation
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Tutor

Generally, agriculturists relied upon rain water for irrigation. Along these lines, crops with a huge prerequisite of water were developed in territories with direct to high precipitation. Things have changed to a specific degree in present day times, with the development of huge dams crosswise over... read more
Generally, agriculturists relied upon rain water for irrigation. Along these lines, crops with a huge prerequisite of water were developed in territories with direct to high precipitation. Things have changed to a specific degree in present day times, with the development of huge dams crosswise over waterways. Water from these dams is conveyed by channels to numerous territories which were denied of water before. These channels are called lasting waterways, The significant dams are also being used for irrigation purposes. Wells have for quite some time been utilized to tap groundwater, particularly in locales which need surface water assets. Presently, electrically worked tube wells are utilized to direct out water for water system. They are well known even in the northern fields, where surface water isn't rare. read less
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Mathematics Teacher

In india rain fall is the major source irrigation but we can store it and. Irrigate it through canal
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Water canals, dams, reservoir, rivers and lakes
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