Sprinkler irrigation system Advantages and Limitations

Sprinkler systems have a high initial capital cost since they require a number of crucial parts in order for the water to spray onto the soil surface. Sprinkler systems demand more energy than other water application techniques because they require a greater pressure to create a spray with the required-sized droplets. In order to successfully perform the procedure, excellent operational skills are also needed. The correct pressure, application rate, droplet sizes, and application uniformity must all be maintained. The system’s numerous components have comparatively higher maintenance costs. So, in order to maximize agricultural output and water savings, the system needs to be efficiently designed and laid up.

Sprinkler irrigation system is adoptable to following situations:

  • Almost all types of soils and terrains.
  • Successfully irrigate high permeable soils that are difficult to irrigate using surface irrigation methods.
  • Lands with combination of shallow soils and terrain that prevent proper land grading smoothing.
  • Lands having steep slopes and erodible soils and undulating terrain that would be too costly to make smooth for use.
  • Areas prone to frost and fog in Northern India this method can be used to minimise their effect of frost and fog on crop damage.
  • Suppressing dust during to dust storm during summer and cooling the local environment.

Advantages and Limitations of Sprinkler Irrigation


(i) In sprinkler method of irrigation the water is moved through the network of pipes from the source to the field, thereby minimizing the water losses in the process of conveyance and distribution. The studies conducted in different parts of India showed that this method can save water to the extent of 30 per cent compared to surface irrigation method. Hence this method has the distinct advantage of water saving over surface irrigation methods.

(ii) Frequent application of water and depths matching with the water requirement of crops. Therefore it is possible to maintain the soil moisture in the root zone of crops within allowable depletion level for a specified type of soil.

(iii) As there is no overland flow, water is not moved on land surface, this method is suitable for irrigating all types of soils except very heavy clay. This method is particularly suitable for irrigating close growing crops where the plant population per unit area is more.

(iv)It is suitable for oil seeds and cereal and vegetable crops.

(v) It is not necessary to overland flow by gravity therefore expenditure of land levelling and smoothening are not required done in surface irrigation methods.

(vi)There is no necessity of making bunds, ridges, field channels etc. for ponding or guiding water. The land used for these construction is saved and can be used for crop cultivation.

(vii) Due to high pressure requirement the nozzles are less susceptible to clogging compared to drip irrigation method.

(viii) Chemicals and fertilizers can be applied along with water.

(xi) This method saves the fertilizers and other nutrients there is no deep percolation and leaching.

(x) The damage on vegetables, citrus, apple, mango, litchi, and other fruit crops to fog, frost and high solar radiations can be protected.

(xi) High water use efficiency can be achieved with proper planning and design of sprinkler irrigation system.

(xii) Plant protection chemicals can be applied to distant part of plant, which is not possible in other methods of irrigation.


Alongside the different benefits offered by this method as explained above, there are certain limitations of this method. These are stated below.

(i) High initial investment as compared to surface irrigation methods.

(ii) The fine-textured soils which have a low infiltration rate cannot be irrigated efficiently.

(iii) Sprinkler irrigation is not feasible in hot climate and high wind areas, as major portion of water will be lost through evaporation and water distribution is affected due to high wind speed.

(iv) High operational costs due to higher energy requirements.

(v) Not suitable for crops that require ponding water. However, research experiments on paddy crops have given promising results.

(vi) In humid regions, not suitable for crops prone to diseases due to moist environment.

(vii) Water with impurities and sediments may damage the system components.

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