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Need and Importance of Irrigation

Need and Importance of Irrigation

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Published by: ✬ SHANZA MALIK ✬ on Jun 25, 2011
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06/25/2011

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Need And Importance Of Irrigation
1.Most of the plain areas of Pakistan have been built by alluvial soil brought by the RiverIndus and its tributaries.But due to deficient rainfall ,agricultural activities cannot beperformed without adopting some artificial means of irrigation.So the areas lying betweenthe rivers have provided irrigation facilities through canals and various types of crops aregrown in these areas.2.The Rivers of our country used to take millions of gallons of water intothe Arabian Sea.That water is being used for canal irrigation and a number of dry desertareas have become fertile and productive regions of our country.3.The supply of water in our rivers remains irregular during the year.To regulate the watersupply throughout the year the year the water is stored by constructing barrages,dams andweirs etc.4.The slope of our country lies from north east towards south.This helps in the constructionof canals and water can easily be distributed through canals from higher regions to lowerareas.5.All the rivers of our country come from snow-covered mountainous areas,havingabundance of rainfall in summer ,in those rivers a huge amount of water comes due toheavy rainfall and the melting of snow during summer.Thus we store this surplus water inhuge dams which is used for irrigation purposes in dry season.6.The upper and lower areas of Indus plain have soft soil,where digging of canals iseasier,and cheap labour is available in abundance.That reduces the cost of construction.Thatis why canal irrigation is preferred in our country.7.Canal water adds to the fertility of the soil by bringing a number of organic and in-organicmatters with it,while the water of tube -wells lacks all these matters,so people prefer canalirrigation.8.Canal irrigation is the cheapest and easiest means by which vast areas can becommanded and made productive.
Means Of Irrigation In Pakistan
The following means of irrigation are practiced in various areas of our country:
1.Wells or Tube-wells:
This is one of the oldest methods of irrigation which is being used from ancient times in ourcountry.Well irrigation is quite common in pledmont areas of North Eastern mountains andin the vicinity of rivers where the water-table is high.They are found all over the plain wherecanal water is not available and water table is high enough for their construction.Manyshallow wells are dug by hand the areas where the water table is not far below the surfaceof the earth .The water is then lifted by "Charas" or "Persian wheels" driven by oxen or
 
camels.In areas where the water table is low and cheap electric power is available ,tube wells areused;due to shortage of canal irrigation water ,government is encouraging the farmers todig more and more tube wells.
2.Canals:
Irrigation from rivers is an ancient practice.It was being carried before the birth of christ invarious areas of our country,but the modern system of large perennial canals wasintroduced by the Britishers.The first modern canal in Punjab was opened in 1859;it wastaken out from river Ravi at madhopur (Gurdaspur district,India).After that a number of canals have been taken out from various rivers and our country has got one of the mostexcellent systems of irrigation in the world.The canals found in our country may be dividedinto the following types:
(a)Perennial Canals:
Those canals which supply water to their commanded areas throughout the year are knownas perennial canals.To regulate the supply dams and barrages have been built.Most of thecanals of our country are of this type.
(b)Non Perennial Canals:
Such canals runs only during the summer and the rainy season .They are closed downduring winter months when there is not enough water in the rivers.Some of the canals fromSutlej ,the Sidhnal canals from Ravi and Haveli canals from Chenab are of this type.Onlyone crop can be harvested in the commanded areas of such types of canals.(
c) Inundation or Flood Canals:
These canals work only during the rainy season,when the rivers have a plenty of water.Because no dam or barrage is built at their head ,their construction cost being low,theyalso help in reducing the flood water and save the area from many dangers.Many old canalsfrom the Indus and Chenab are of this type.
(d)Karez:
In Baluchistan short underground canals called Karez have been built to carry the waterwhich soaks into the ground at the foot of the mountains to the fields and villages .As thecanals are underground no water is wasted by evaporation.In Queta and Pashindistricts thissystem is very popular and a large area of this region is irrigated by the Karez system.
Canal Systems
The irrigated area is served by more than 40 major canal commands.Main canals start froma barrage or dam or weir on a river.A barrage feeds one or more main or linkcanals.A number of minor tributaries feed out of the main canal and these in turn,servea number of outlets to the farmers water-courses each of which irrigates between 60 and240 hectares.There are three major groups of canal system :(i) Canals on upper Indus Tributaries
 
(ii) Systems on the Indus(iii) Systems west of the Indus.(i) Systems On Upper-Indus TributariesThe principal canal systems are:from the Jhelum,(a) Upper Jhelum canal,which starts from Mangla,joins the Chenab at Khanki to give itssurplus water to the lower Chenab canal,and (b) the Lower Jhelum canal which starts fromRasul:from the Chenab(a) the upper Chenab canal starting from marala and joining the Ravi near Ballokin tosupplement the water supply of the Lower Bari Doab canal,(b) the lower Chenab canal from Khanki,and(c) the Haveli system of canals from the Trimu weir below the junction of the Chenab andthe Jhelum;from the Ravi,(a) the upper Bari Doab canal,which begins in Madhopur (India),irrigating mainly the IndianPunjab,with only its Lahore branch reaching Pakistan,(b)the Lower Bari Doab canal from Balakot and(c) the Sidhanaj Canals from the left bank of the Ravi at Sidhnal ;from the Sutlej,the Sutlejvalley project,in which canals depart from the river Gandas in Ghwala,Sulaimanke,Islam andbelow the juction of the Sutlej with the Chenab at Panjnad.The upper Jhelum,the upper Chenab,and the lower Bari Doab canals together form TheTriple Project ,which was designed to carry surplus water from the Jhelum to the Chenab,and from the Chenab to the Ravi.
(ii) Systems On The Indus
The largest dam on the Indus has been built at Tarbela.Other barrages,in descending orderalong the river,are Jinnah barrage near Kalabagh,part of the Thal project;Taunsa Barrage290 km.further downstream,which has 100,000 kw power station in addition to diversionworks;Guddu Barrage,150 km.upstream from Sukkar;Sukkur or Liodyd Barrage,the oldestbarrage on the river,and Ghulam Mohammad Barrage,near Kotri.
(iii) Systems West of The Indus
These include(a) the Swat Canals departing from the river at Malakand (upper Swat canal) and Abazal(Lower Swat Canal);(b) the warsak Multipupose Project on the Kabul River 30 kms.north west of Peshawar whichincludes a 160,000 KW power plant;and

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