Irrigation Advantages and Disadvantages: Plants and agricultural crops need water for their proper development and growth. Water is an essential element for plants and humans and other living beings to exist. To supply water to crops a proper process is followed that is called Irrigation. There are many types of methods to water crops and all of the processes ensure the good health of crops. From the irrigation process, the crops get water uniformly for an equal amount of growth. Irrigation should be done in the proper way because it can cause adverse effects on crops. Let us see the methods, types, and drawbacks of Irrigation.
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What is Irrigation? What are its Types? Irrigation Advantages and Disadvantages 2022
Living beings need water to exist. Human beings need an external source of water despite the fact that the human body consists of seventy percent of water and in the same way, plants consist of 90 percent of water but they need an outsource of water supply for their survival. Sometimes the rainfall is not sufficient for the crops which leads to drought and famine. To fulfill their water needs irrigation is the best way to increase productivity and supply nutrients to the crops.
Some land courses do not need any irrigation process as they get water from rainfall which is sufficient for their growth. But some fields need a uniform water supply that is done by using methods of irrigation which is why it is said to supplement rainfall. There are various types of water sources for irrigation like wells, ponds, lakes, tube wells, and dams. Irrigation and drainage both are required mutually to assure the sustainable high-level production of crops. It also helps to grow more than one crop in most of the areas where there is insufficient rainfall which is not suitable to grow multiple crops. Irrigation helps in providing the correct environment or mixture for the growth or germination of plants.
- Types of Irrigation
- Advantages of Irrigation
- Disadvantages of Irrigation
- Comparison Table for Irrigation Advantages And Disadvantages
- FAQs on Pros and Cons of Irrigation
There are two methods of irrigation:
- Traditional method
- Modern method
Traditional method: This is done by the traditional way that a farmer has to water the field himself by pulling out water himself or by using cattle from wells or canals. The only advantage here is that it is cheap.
Modern methods: The modern way of irrigation involves two systems one is the Sprinklers system and the other is the Drip system. The sprinkler system is the system in which water is sprinkled over the crop helps in even distribution of water over the crops. The pump is connected to pipes that generate pressure and water is sprinkled through nozzle pipes.
The Drip system is a process in which water is supplied drop by drop to the roots of the plants by using a hose or pipe.
There are several types of irrigation. They are based on how water is supplied to plants according to the climate, soil, or surface area. Irrigation understands the amount of water needed by the plant that is not too low or not too high. According to different needs, there are many types of irrigation:
- Surface irrigation
- Drip Irrigation
- Sprinkler irrigation
- Water wheel irrigation
- Lawn sprinkler irrigation
Surface irrigation: It is the oldest form of irrigation also known as gravity irrigation. In this system water moves by following gravity or slope of the land.
Drip irrigation: In this system, water is delivered to the roots of the plants drop by drop. This method is the most water-efficient method.
Sprinkler irrigation: This irrigation method is also known as overhead irrigation, Here pipe is set overhead central location, and water is sprayed through pressure sprinklers or guns mounted overhead.
Micro-irrigation: micro irrigation or localized irrigation is a system in which each plant or adjacent to it gets water applied by pipe under low pressure.
Water wheel irrigation: It is also called center-pivot irrigation, in which the water is sprinkled to the plants in a circular pattern where water is fed from the pivot point at the center of an arc.
Lawn sprinkler system: This is a system which consists of one or more zone and capacity water source leading to its size limitation. These are permanently installed sprinklers mainly used in residential lawns, commercial landscapes, schools, golf courses, etc.
Sub-irrigation: This method is used to raise the water level to allow the soil to moisten from below the plant root zone. It is a system of pumping stations, canals, gates that allows it to control the water level in channels and control water tables.
There are many advantages of Irrigation and some disadvantages also:
- Good for low rainfall area
- Improves soil fertility
- Produce hydroelectric power
- Improves living standard of farmers
- Prevent weeds
- Prevent deforestation and famine
Good for low rainfall areas: water is an essential element for all living beings, plants cannot get proper growth in less water supply. Some regions are having less rainfall which sometimes leads to drought and famine which can be corrected from a proper water supply. Irrigation is the best way to cover this problem.
Improves soil fertility: Irrigation helps in maintaining the soil moisture which helps in the germination of seeds and implements growth and helps in good yield. It preserves the structure of topsoil.
Produce hydroelectric power: It can be utilized to produce hydroelectric power.
Improves living standard of farmers: Irrigation helps good yield and gives ways to grow cash crops like tobacco, sugarcane, etc which help in increasing finances and living standards of farmers and also help in the country’s economy.
Prevent weeds: Irrigation helps in preventing weeds.
Prevent deforestation and famine: It can act as a shield against famine and banks of the channels can prevent deforestation.
- High initial cost
- Overflow of water can cause diseases
- Not suitable for some crop
- Wind effect is considerable
High initial cost: Irrigation development is costly, and needs more labor for field layout.
Overflow of water can cause diseases: overflow of water, if stagnated, may lead to diseases causing organisms like providing breeding places for mosquitos and other organisms.
Not suitable for some crops: some crops do not need a continuous water supply which can be not suitable for summer crops.
Wind effect is considerable: Irrigation can be affected by wind if it is in excess.
|Helpful in low rainfall area||Initial process is costly|
|Improves yield of crop||Overflow of water can increase the chance of waterborne diseases|
|Makes possible to grow cash crops||It can lead to loss of land and residence|
|Prevent deforestation and famine||During monsoon drainage can be a problem|
|Can help to produce hydroelectric power||Makes locality damp|
|Improves groundwater storage||Wind is considerable|
What is irrigation? How is it helpful?
To fulfill the water needs of crops an artificial method of water supply process is irrigation. Plants need water for development and growth which is sometimes not possible from natural rainfall.
Irrigation is helpful in giving proper nutrients which promotes a good yield of crops and is beneficial for improving farmers’ living standards.
What are the different methods of irrigation?
There are many types of irrigation methods some of them are;
- Surface irrigation
- Drip Irrigation
- Sprinkler irrigation
- Center pivot irrigation
- Sub-surface irrigation
What are the drawbacks of irrigation?
Some drawbacks of irrigation are
- Overflow of water can lead to waterborne disease.
- Initial cost of the irrigation project is high.
- Can affect the drainage of water during the rainy season.
- Low rainwater utilization efficiency.