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Irrigation is the application of controlled amounts of water to plants at needed intervals. Irrigation helps
grow agricultural crops, maintain landscapes, and revegetate disturbed soils in dry areas and during
periods of inadequate rainfall.

Water Sources
There are different sources of water for various irrigation systems wells, canals, rivers, tanks, check
dams etc.

Wells Water can be pulled through a bucket (dug wells) or pumped out through a handle (tube wells)
from the water bearing strata.

Dug Well Tube Well

Canals Canals receive water from reservoirs or rivers and distribute to fields.
River lift systems Water is lifted from rivers to irrigate fields.

Tanks These are small storage reservoirs which supply water to fields.
Check dams These are used to stop rain water from flowing away and help to increase ground
water levels and also reduce soil erosion.

Types of Irrigation
There are several methods of irrigation. They vary in how the water is supplied to the plants. The goal is
to apply the water to the plants as uniformly as possible.

Surface Irrigation
In surface (furrow, flood, or level basin) irrigation systems, water moves across the surface of an
agricultural land and wets it. It is often called flood irrigation when the irrigation results in flooding or
near flooding of the cultivated land.
Micro-irrigation, sometimes called localized irrigation, low volume irrigation, or trickle
irrigation is a system where water is distributed under low pressure through a piped network, and
applied as a small discharge to each plant.

Sprinkler irrigation
In sprinkler or overhead irrigation, water is piped to one or more central locations within the field and
distributed by overhead high-pressure sprinklers or guns.
Rivers and Canals in North India
Indira Gandhi Canal
The Indira Gandhi Canal is one of the largest canal projects in India. It starts from the Harike
Barrage at Harike, a few kilometers below the confluence of the Satluj and Beas rivers in the Indian
state of Punjab and terminates in irrigation facilities in the Thar Desert in the north west
of Rajasthan state. Previously known as the Rajasthan Canal, it was renamed the Indira Gandhi
Canal in 1985 following the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Upper Ganges Canal

The Upper Ganges Canal is the original Ganges Canal, which starts at the Bhimgoda
Barrage near Har ki Pauri at Haridwar, traverses Meerut and Bulandshahr and continues to Nanau
in Aligarh district, where it bifurcates into the Kanpur and Etawah branches.

Lower Ganges Canal

A channel from a barrage at Narora intersects the canal system 48 km downstream from Nanau, and
continues past the Sengar River and Sersa River, past Shikohabad in Mainpuri district to become
the Bhognipur branch. The Bhognipur branch, together with the Kanpur and Etawah branches, is
known as the Lower Ganges Canal.

Indian Rivers Inter-link

The Indian Rivers Inter-link is a proposed large-scale civil engineering project that aims to
link Indian rivers by a network of reservoirs and canals and so reduce persistent floods in some parts
and water shortages in other parts of India.