Simply, irrigation can be stated as application of water to the soil for crop growth
and development. The application of water to plants is made naturally through rainfall
and artificially through irrigation.
Irrigation is defined as the artificial application of water to the soil for the purpose
of crop growth or crop production in supplement to rainfall and ground water
Regulating, the activities based on the various resources for its efficient use and
better out put. i.e., allocation of all the resources for maximum benefit and to achieve the
objectives, without eroding the environment is called management. Otherwise it can be
stated as planning, executing, monitoring, evaluating and re-organizing the whole
activities to achieve the target.
Management of water based on the soil and crop environment to obtain better
yield by efficient use of water without any damage to the environment.
Management of water, soil, plants, irrigation structure, irrigation reservoirs,
environment, social setup and it’s inter liked relationship are studied in the irrigation
For this we have to study
- The soil physical and chemical properties
- Biology of crop plants
- Quantity of water available
- Time of application of water
- Method of application of water
- Climatological or meteorological influence on irrigation and
- Environment and its changes due to irrigation
- Management of all the above said factors constitute Irrigation Agronomy:
Management of irrigation structures, conveyances, reservoirs constitute Irrigation
Engineering; and social setup, activities, standard of living, irrigation policies, irrigation
association and farmer’s participation, cost of irrigation etc., constitute Socio-economic
- Except Economics and Engineering all the other components are grouped under
Agronomy. Sociology has a major role in irrigation management in a large system.
Hence Engineering, Economics, Social science and Agronomy are the major faculties
come under Irrigation Management.
- Irrigation management is a complex process of art and science involving
application of water from source to crop field. The source may be a river or a well or a
canal or a tank or a lake or a pond.
- Maintaining the irrigation channels without leakage and weed infestation,
applying water to field by putting some local check structure like field inlet and
boundaries for the area to be irrigated etc., need some skill. These practices are the art
involving practices in irrigation management.
- Time of irrigation and quantity of water to be applied (when to irrigate? and how
much to irrigate?) based on soil types, climatic parameters, crop, varieties, growth stages,
season, quality of water, uptake pattern of water by plants, etc., and method of application
(How best to irrigate) includes conveyance of water without seepage and percolation
losses and water movement in soil, are the process involving scientific irrigation
- Simply, it is a systematic approach of art and science involved in soil, plant and
water by proper management of the resources (soil, plant and water) to achieve the goal
of crop production.
- Water is essential not only to meet agricultural needs but also for industrial purposes, power generation, live stock maintenance, rural and domestic needs etc. But the resource is limited and cannot be created as we require. Hence irrigation management it very important:
- To the development of nation through proper management of water resources for
the purpose of crop production and other activities such as industrialization,
power generation etc., which in turn provides employment opportunities and good
living condition of the people.
- To store the regulate the water resources for further use or non-season use
- To allocate the water with proper proportion based on area and crop under
cultivation. (Balanced equity in distribution)
- To convey the water without much loss through percolation and seepage
(Efficiency in use)
- To apply sufficient quantity to field crops. (Optimization of use)
- To utilize the water considering cost-benefit (Economically viable management
- To distribute the available water without any social problem (Judicial distribution)
- To meet the future requirement for other purposes like domestic use of individual
and to protect against famine (Resource conservation).
- To protect the environment from over use or misuse of water (Environment safe