Various Types of Irrigation Systems in India

Irrigation Systems


In India, various types of irrigation systems are in practice. The following are some important system.

• Gravity irrigation

• Tank irrigation

• Lift irrigation

Gravity Irrigation

Here water is supplied to the land by gravitational flow. There are two types namely (i) Perennial, (ii) Inundation.

(i) Perennial – In this system, water is assured throughout the crop period from the reservoir. This may be either direct or indirect irrigation. In direct irrigation, river water is directly directed to canal by constructing diversion weirs across the river without storing water at any point, where adequate perennial supply of water is assured to feed the canal during the cropping period. In indirect irrigation, during monsoon period water is stored in dam or any reservoirs and directed to flow during cropping season and hence also called as storage irrigations. This is adopted where the river flow is inadequate in cropping period. This has got significant importance than direct one.

(ii) Inundation – In this system, the water is directed to canal without any diversion work. It depends on the periodical rise in water levels of the river and supply is drawn through natural coarse or open which acts as Head.

 Tank Irrigation

It is the oldest irrigation system of India wherein water is stored by forming a big bund across the natural drainage to avoid the surface runoff loss through natural streams. The tank size varies according to the drainage capacity. It has irrigation capacity from 10–1000 ha. It is further classified as:

(a) System tank – The system tank receives allotted quantity of water from river system during the cropping period for its command.

(b) Non-system tanks – The Non-system tanks depend upon rainfall in their catchment area and do not have any link to river system to get water.

Lift Irrigation

In this system, water is lifted from a reservoir or river or canal or well by using mechanical or electrical power to irrigate the field. Lift irrigation includes:

(1) lift canal irrigation,

(2) well irrigation, and

(3) tube well irrigation.

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