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Published by SudharsananPRS
Irrigation Manual Part 5
Irrigation Manual Part 5

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categoriesTypes, Research
Published by: SudharsananPRS on Jun 06, 2013
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Part 652Irrigation Guide
Selecting an Irrigation MethodChapter 5
5–15(210-vi-NEH, September 1997)
Chapter 5Selecting an IrrigationMethod
652.0500General51652.0501Methods and systems to apply irrigation water52652.0502Site conditions53652.0503Selection of irrigation method and system54652.0504Adaptability and limitations of irrigation methods and systems5–6652.0505State supplement513TablesTable 51
Site conditions to consider in selecting an irrigation5–3method and system
Table 5–2
 Typical life and annual maintenance cost percentage5–5for irrigation system components
Table 5–3
Factors affecting the selection of surface irrigation systems5–7
Table 5–4
Factors affecting the selection of periodic move, fixed,5–8or solid set sprinkler irrigation systems
Table 5–5
Factors affecting the selection of continuous/self moving5–9sprinkler irrigation systems
Table 5–6
Factors affecting the selection of micro irrigation systems5–10
Table 5–7
Factors affecting the selection of subirrigation systems5–11
Table 5–8
Slope limitations for surface irrigation systems512
Table 5–9
Slope limitations for sprinkler irrigation systems5–12
Part 652Irrigation Guide
Selecting an Irrigation MethodChapter 5
5–1(210-vi-NEH, September 1997)
Chapter 5Selecting an Irrigation Method
Irrigation application method and system selectionshould result in optimum use of available water. Theselection should be based on a full awareness of management considerations, such as water source andcost, water quantity and quality, irrigation effects onthe environment, energy availability and cost, farmequipment, product marketability, and capital forirrigation system installation, operation, and mainte-nance. The purpose of this chapter is to provide neces-sary planning considerations for selecting an irrigationmethod and system. Most widely used irrigation meth-ods and systems with their adaptability and limitationsare described. Also see National Engineering Hand-book (NEH), part 623 (section 15), chapters 3, 4, 5, 6,7, 8, 9, and 11.In some areas, operators are accustomed to a particu-lar irrigation method and system of applying water. They continue to install and use this common systemeven though another system may be more suitable,apply water more efficiently with better distributionuniformity, be more economical to install and operate,and have fewer negative impacts on ground and sur-face water. The consultant and irrigation decisionmaker shouldcompare applicable methods and systems on commongrounds. These can include:Gross irrigation water needsEnergy requirementsEffects on quantity and quality of ground waterand downstream surface waterInstallation and annual operating costsLabor skills neededGenerally more than one irrigation method and systemcan be installed and efficiently operated on a specificsite. The owner’s or operator’s desire, rather thaneconomics and water application uniformity, may bekey to the selection. To get acceptable irrigationefficiencies (minimize losses), management skillsrequired of the operator and flexibility of availablelabor must be considered. Local regulations mayprovide the motivation to select and manage a specificirrigation system that would provide the least negativeeffect on ground and surface water. Whatever basis isused for the decision, the consultant and owner oroperator both need to be aware of the applicability,capability, and limitations of all irrigation methods andsystems that could be used on a specific site.Political, legal, and regulatory issues are of primaryimportance. Included are such issues as land reform,water rights, containment of runoff and drainagewater, taxation, financial incentives from govern-ments, zoning and site application, and constructionpermits. These issues must be fully understood at thebeginning of the selection process. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)Field Office Technical Guide, section V, displays theconservation effects of irrigation methods and systemsand their related components. These should be refer-enced during the planning and design process. Theywill provide insight as to the effects of surface irriga-tion on ground and surface water quantity and quality,and on wildlife.
Part 652Irrigation Guide
Selecting an Irrigation MethodChapter 5
52(210-vi-NEH, September 1997)
652.0501Methods andsystems to apply irrigationwater
 The four basic irrigation methods, along with the manysystems to apply irrigation water, include: surface,sprinkle, micro, and subirrigation:
—Water is applied by gravity across the soilsurface by flooding or small channels (i.e., basins,borders, paddies, furrows, rills, corrugations)
—Water is applied at the point of use by asystem of nozzles (impact and gear driven sprinkler orspray heads) with water delivered to the sprinklerheads by surface and buried pipelines, or by both.Sprinkler irrigation laterals are classed as fixed set,periodic move, or continuous or self move. Sprinklerirrigation systems include solid set, handmove laterals,sideroll (wheel) laterals, center pivot, linear move(lateral move), and stationary and traveling gun types.Low Energy Precision Application (LEPA) and LowPressure In Canopy (LPIC) systems are included withsprinkler systems because they use center pivots andlinear move irrigation systems.
—Water is applied to the point of use throughlow pressure, low volume discharge devices (i.e., dripemitters, line source emitters, micro spray and sprin-kler heads, bubblers) supplied by small diametersurface or buried pipelines.
—Water is made available to the croproot system by upward capillary flow through the soilprofile from a controlled water table.Each irrigation method and irrigation system hasspecific site applicability, capability, and limitations.Broad factors that should be considered are:
Crops to be grown
 Topography or physical site conditions
Water supply
Energy available
Operation and management skills
Environmental concerns
Farming equipment

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