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Chapter 2.

Soil Water Relationship

2.1 General Classification of Soil for Agricultural Purposes
2.2 Soil-Moisture / Crop-Water Requirement
2.3 Factors Affecting Crop-Water Requirements
2.4 Crop-Water Requirement Calculation by Penman Method
and Computer Software
2.5 Principal Crops, Their Seasons and Water Requirements
2.6 Method of Applying Water to Irrigation Field as Surface,
Sub-surface and Sprinkler methods
2.7 Techniques of Surface Irrigation and their Sustainability
2.8 Advantage and Disadvantage of Surface Irrigation
Soil is main base to support the crops and supply the minerals and water
essential for crop growth through root of the plant
Soil type and its characteristics to hold water is important for application of
irrigation efficiently
Crop, Soil and Water

Carbon Di-oxide+Water = (in presence of Sunlight & Chlorophyl plant) =
6CO2+6H2O—— 6 O2+ C6H12O6
2.1 General Classification of Soil for Agricultural

• Sieve Analyses of the soil samples (dried) gives the textural group
• Soil classification is mainly based on the soil texture.
• Soil texture is determined by the size and type of solid particles (their
distributions) that make up the soil
• Texture of soil affects the flow of soil water, water holding properties,
penetration of roots and circulation of air through the soil.
• texture of soil is more or less constant and does not change with tillage
Soil classification system based on U.S. Department of Agriculture

• Sandy soil also known

as Course textured soil

• Loamy soil also known

as Medium textured soil

• Clay soil also known as

Fine Textured soil
Find the type of Soil
(US soil group) with
following information
Clay 20%, silt 35% and
Sand 45%? Soil type:
Soil structure refers to the grouping of soil particles in
larger aggregates (bulky size ) based on shapes and
structures of its constituents
structure can be
changed by cultural
• Adding organic
manure, crop
rotation leguminous
helps in developing
good structure,
• Irrigation with water
containing high salt
causes undesirable
• Cultivating fine
textured soil when
either too wet or too
dry is likely to
destroy good soil
2.2 Soil Moisture/Crop water requirement
• Soil zone/root zone/soil depth
– over the rock or earth’s crust in which the roots of the
vegetation or plant penetrates.
– The plant takes water and minerals from the root zone
– soil zone depends on plant type and available soil depth

Plant Soil zone (m)

Alfaalfa 1-2
Banana 0.5-0.9
Barely 1.0-1.5
Carrots 0.5-1
Cucumber 0.7-1
Grapes 1-2
Maize 1-1.7 Soil
Onion 0.3-0.5 Soil zone or Root zone
Potato 0.4-0.6
Sugarcane 1.2-2.0 Intermediate zone
Tomato 0.7-1.5
Vegetables 0.3-0.6 Capillary zone
Wheat 1.0-1.5 Ground water zone
Rice 0.6-1.0
Source: FAO Irrigation and drainage Paper 1977 Guidelines for predicting
Impervious strata
Crop water requirements

shallow depth 10 to 20 inches, Moderate 20-40 inches and deep >40 inches
Types of Soil Moisture and Soil Moisture Characteristics Curve
Soil Moisture Characteristics curve
Oven dry Unavailable to plants
Clay soil water
Ultimate wilting point
range Available for survival
Permanent wilting Wilting coefficient
Silt loam water
Available for growth
Sandy loam
Field capacity
saturation Limited part available
Gravitational or free water water
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50
Soil Moisture content % (percent by Dry weight)
Soil Moisture content = weight of water stored in the certain vol. of soil/ dry weight of soil the soil vol.
Gravity water: the water that flows downwards under the action of gravity
Field capacity: The water content of a soil after free gravity drainage has taken place for a
sufficient period (2 to 5 days) The field capacity water (the quantity of water which any soil can
retain indefinitely against gravity)
Types of soil moisture
• Field capacity (%) =F 
Weight Water retained in certain volumeof soil
 100
Dry Weight of the same soil
• weight of the soil = A×ds×s×g
• Weight of water =A×dw×w×g
• Depth of water stored in the soil zone or root depth = dw = the total
water storage capacity of the soil = F × d s ×  s
• If irrigation water depth is greater than the dw, the excess water
goes down (drain) as waste
• Field Capacity water consist two parts
– Capillary water: The part of the field capacity water which is attached to
the soil molecules by surface tension against gravitation force. It can be
extracted by the plants by capillarity
– Hygroscopic water: The part of the filed capacity water which is attached
to the soil molecules by loose chemical bonds (water of crystallization on
minerals, salts etc.) These water can not be removed by capillarity and not
available to the plants
Types of soil moisture
• Permanent wilting point: The water content at which the plant can no longer extract
sufficient water for its growth and wilts up
• Available soil moisture: Difference of water content of the soil between the field capacity
and permanent wilting point
Available Soil Moisture Holding Capacity for Various Soil Textures.
Available Soil Moisture
Soil Texture inches/inch inches/foot
Coarse Sand and Gravel 0.02 to 0.06 0.2 to 0.7
Sands 0.04 to 0.09 0.5 to 1.1
Loamy Sands 0.06 to 0.12 0.7 to 1.4
Sandy Loams 0.11 to 0.15 1.3 to 1.8
Fine Sandy Loams 0.14 to 0.18 1.7 to 2.2
Loams and Silt Loams 0.17 to 0.23 2.0 to 2.8
Clay Loams and Silty Clay Loams 0.14 to 0.21 1.7 to 2.5
Silty Clays and Clays 0.13 to 0.18 1.6 to 2.2
• Readily available soil moisture: It is that portion of the available moisture which is most
easily extracted by the plants i.e. 75%-80% of the available moisture
• Soil Moisture Deficiency: The water required to bring the soil moisture content of the
given soil to its field capacity. It is also called as field moisture deficiency.
• Equivalent moisture: It is the water retained by a saturated soil after being centrifuged for
30 minutes by a centrifugal force of 1000 times of that of the gravity. It is slightly less or
almost equal to the field capacity.
Example of estimation of soil moisture available to the
• Numerical Problem: After how many days will you supply irrigation water
to the soil in order to ensure sufficient irrigation of the given crop if a)
field capacity F=28%, b) Permanent wilting point PWP = 13%, c) Density of
soil 1.3 gm/cc d) effective depth of soil zone = 70 cm e) daily consumptive
use of water 12 mm

Find the Solution of the problem and present the result in the
next class on Friday !!!

Crop water requirements = water required to grow crop

It is the total quantity and the way in which a crop requires water from the
time of its sown to its harvest

Factors Affecting the Crop water requirements???

2.3 Factors Affecting Crop water Requirements
• Definition of Crop water requirement:
Crop water requirements: It is the total quantity of water required
to grow crop from the time of its sown to its harvest. The crop
water requirements includes both evaporation from the soil surface
and the evaporation from plant body i.e. evapo-transpiration.
FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of UN) : the depth of
water needed to meet the water loss through evapo-transpiration
(ET crop) of a disease free crop growing in large fields under non
restricting soil conditions including soil water, fertility and achieving
full production potential under the given growing environment.
• The crop water requirement is also known as consumptive use (Et
crop or Cu)
• The crop water requirement rate is varying at different stages of the
crops (seedling/sowing, transplanting, growing, flowering,
harvesting) due to different rate of transpiration through the plant
2.3 Factors Affecting Crop water Requirements
• Affecting Factors:
– Crop type, climate
• Crop type (rice, wheat, vegetables etc ): different types of crop has
different types of plant cells, leaf, stomata and different stages of
development with different time interval affecting evapo-
• Climate (temperature -sunshine hours/radiation, relative humidity,
wind speed): evaporation is directly proportional to the
temperature, relative humidity and wind speed of the crops under
which it was grown. The transpiration is dependent on the
sunshine hours and radiations.
Explain why with logical statement ?
Why will different crops have different water requirements ? Why the same crop
have different water requirements at different places of the same country (Terai
Mountain and Himalayan region) ?
Differentiate between the Crop period, Base period
• Crop Period: Time from its sowing to the harvest time is called crop period It is also
known as Growth period
• Base Period: Time between first watering of a crop at the time of its sowing to its last
watering before its harvest is called Base period
• Generally Crop period > or equal to Base period
The crop period is represented by B in days and it depends on type of the crops and local
climate conditions in which crops are grown

The crop period or growth period and base period are used as synonyms in preliminary
planning of irrigation projects as they are approximately same
The crop periods of different types of common crops has been given on FAO guidelines and
standard irrigation books
Example of crop period: Rice 120 days, carrot 150 days, onion 210 days, potato 130 days,
Tomato 135 days, peas 140 days etc

Arid Region: The area where irrigation is must for agriculture or the rainfall does not satisfy
the crop water requirements e.g. tropical country India, Nepal, Pakistan, south East Asia
Semi Arid Region: The area where the inferior (normal) crops can be grown without
irrigation .i.e. the crop water requirement is fulfilled by the natural rainfall like in England
2.4 Crop Water Requirement calculation by Penman and
Computer Software Cropwat
• Crop water requirement/consumptive use or evapo-transpiration ( ET Crop or
Cu) for a particular crop = water used by the plant in Transpiration (building of
plant tissues etc) + Evaporation from the adjacent soils and from plant leaves
from its sown time to the time of harvest
• The consumptive use for a given crop at a given place may vary throughout the
day, throughout the month and throughout the crop period since the cropping
stage is varying according to which the rate of metabolism of the plant
changing and the climate conditions are also varying which directly affects the
consumptive use rate of water.
• Values of daily consumptive use or monthly consumptive use are generally
determined for a given place, given time period. Values of consumptive use
over the entire crop period is used to determine the irrigation requirement.
• The irrigation requirement depends on the crop water requirement, cultivation
practices (irrigation methods and efficiency, soil type -AMC/OMC) and
effective rainfall during the crop period
• IRR = CU+ IL-- ER
Crop water requirement calculation method
Crop water requirement Calculation ET crop = Kc × ET0
Kc = crop coefficient depends on the crop type, stage of the crop and prevailing climatic
conditions (RH and Wind speed)
ET0 = Reference Evapo-transpiration (ET0 ) depends on the Climate (temperature, wind,
relative humidity, radiation etc)
Determination of Crop Coefficient KC
The growing stage of the crop is divided into four stage
• Initial stage: germination and early growth when the soil surface is not or is hardly
covered by the crop (ground coverage <10%)
• Crop Development Stage: from end of initial stage to the attainment of effective full
ground cover (ground cover= 70-80%)
• Mid-season stage: from attainment of effective full ground cover to time of start of
maturing as indicated by discoloring of leaves (beans) or leaves falling off (cotton)
• Late season stage: from end of mid season stage until full maturity or harvest

Crop Ini Dev Mid Late Total Plant date Region

Rice 15 35 45 25 120 june/jul Nepal
Maize 25 40 45 30 140 May/june Nepal
Determination of Crop Coefficient KC
• The values of crop coefficient Kc for different stages of the different crops are given in irrigation
books and FAO guidelines based on research carried out in different institute
• Example of Kc values given on FAO Guidelines for predicting crop water requirements
Crop crop development stage
Initial Crop development mid season Late season harvest
Bean dry 0.3—0.4 0.7-0.8 1.05—1.2 0.65—0.75 0.25—0.30
Rice 1.1—1.15 1.1-1.5 1.1—1.3 0.95—1.05 0.95—1.05
wheat 0.3—0.4 0.7-0.8 1.05—1.2 0.65—0.75 0.2—0.25
Potato 0.4—0.5 0.7—0.8 1.05—1.2 0.85--0.95 0.7—0.75
Tomato 0.4—0.5 0.7—0.8 1.05—1.25 0.8--0.95 0.6—0.65
First figure: under high humidity (RH> 70%) and low wind (U< 5 m/s)
Second figure: under low humidity (RH< 20%) and strong wind (U> 5 m/s)
• Example of Kc values given on BC Punmia irrigation book
crop growing season
% 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 8 0 85 90 95 100
Wheat 0.14 0.17 0.23 0.33 0.45 0.60 0.72 0.81 0.88 0.90 0.91 0.90 0.89 0.86 0.83 0.80 0.76 0.71 0.65 0.58 0.51
Wheat 0.30 0.40 0.51 0.62 0.73 0.84 0.92 0.96 1.1 1.10 1.00 0.91 0.80 0.65 0.51 0.40 0.30 0.20 0.12 0.10 0.10
Maize 0.40 0.42 0.47 0.54 0.63 0.75 0.85 0.96 1.04 1.07 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.10 1.07 1.04 1.00 0.97 0.89 0.81 0.70
Determination of Reference Evapo-transpiration (ET0 )
• The rate of evapo-transpiration from an extensive surface of 8-15 cm tall green
grass (Alfa alfa) cover of uniform height actively growing, completely sheded the
ground and not shortage of water
• ET0 calculation from climatic data of the place
Methods Climatic data Accuracy
Temp T Humidity Wind Sunshine Radiation Evaporati Environm
(Rh) speed (u) hours (n) (Ra) on (E) ent
type etc)
Blaney ±25% applicable for
cridle M E E E one month or more
time step
Radiation ±20% applicable for
M E E M M or E daily time step if data
Pan ±15% depending
Evaporation E E M M upon the location of
the pan
Penman M M M M M or E ±10% applicable for
daily or more time

Note: M means measured data, E means estimated data

Reference Evapo-transpiration (ET0 ) Calculation by
Penman method (1948)
also called as Penman Monteith Method

• When measured data on Temperature T, Relative humidity Rh, wind speed

u, sun shine hours n and Radiation Ra data available, Penman method of
ET0 calculation is more satisfactory

ET0  WRn  (1  W )(ea  ed )................Penman 1948

ET0  cWRn  (1  W ) f (u)(ea  ed )................Modified Penman 1963
also called as Penman Monteith Method

The Energy (radiation) term WRn

The aerodynamic (wind and Humidity) term (1-W)(ea-ed)
Under calm weather condition, the aerodynamic term is usually less important
than the energy term.
Under the windy condition particularly in the more arid regions the aerodynamic
terms becomes more important.
ET0 calculation by Penman method (1948)
ET0 = Reference evapotranspiration in mm/day (FAO guideline)
W= temperature related weighting factor depends on temperature (Tmax+Tmin)/2 and
altitude (table 9 of FAO guidelines)
Rn = net radiation in equivalent evaporation in mm/day = Rns-Rnl
Rns = Net short wave radiation = (1-α)(0.25+0.5n/N)Ra, α is albedo ratio = 0.25 for most of
the crops N maxi possible sun shine hours depends on month and latitude of the place
Table 11, Values of Ra the amount of radiation received at top of the atmosphere
depends on lat and month Table 10. Table 12 can be directly used for conversion of Ra to
Rns based on the ratio of n/N and Ra.
Rnl = net long wave radiation = f(T)*f(ed)*f(n/N) depends on the Temperature T, Vapour
pressure ed and the Ration of n/N. The values of f(T), f(ed) and f(n/N) is taken from
Table 13, Table 14 and Table 15
f(u) = wind related function = 0.27(1+U2/100) and U2 = velocity of wind in km/day at 2 m
height the correction factor for the wind speed measured at different height are given on
the page 17 of FAO guidelines
(ea-ed) = difference between the saturation vapour pressure at mean air temperature and the
mean actual vapour pressure of the air both in mbar and if the vapour pressure is given
in mm of Hg, it should be multiplied by 1.33 to get vapour pressure in mbar.
ET0 calculation by Penman method (1948)
ea depends on the mean air temperature T and Table 5 gives
the data of ea
ed depends on the Relative humidity ed = ea*Mean Relative
Humdity in %/100, alternatively ed can be calculated
based on the difference of the dry bulb and wet bulb
temperature also known as T wet bulb depression using
Table 6
c= adjustment factor to compensate for the effect of day
and night weather conditionsdepending upon the Rs =
(0.25+0.5n/N)Ra, RH and the ratio of Uday and Unight as
per Table 16
1-W = a weighting factor for the effect of wind and humidity
values of 1-W as related to mean temperature and
altitude are given in Table 8
Format for calculation of Penman method
Penman Reference crop ET0 = c[W.Rn+(1-W).f(u)(ea-ed)]
Data Country: Nepal Place: Kathmandu Latitude:270 30’ Altitude:1400 m
Period: May Sunshine hours n: 10 Longitude:850 30’
T mean: 28 0C ea mbar = 37.8 Table 5

RH max 80%
RH min 30% ed mbar =20.79 ea*RH mean/100 Calculate (ea-ed) =17.21
RH mean = 55% Alter natively table 6a or 6b
Twet = 20 0C 20.7
Tdry = 24 0C Aspirated or well
U2 = 70 km/day f(u) = or from Table 7 = f(u) =
0.27(1+U2/100) = 0.46
Tmean = 28 0C 1-W= 0.20 From Table 8 Calculate
Altitude = 1400 (1-W)f(u)(ea-ed) = 1.565
Month = may Ra= 16.475 From Table 10 Cal n/N = 0.74
Latitude = 27.50 N = 13.53 From Table 11 Rs = from Table 12 or = Rs = 10.207
sunshine hour n = 10 (0.25+0.50*n/N)Ra Rns = 7.655
α =0.25 Calculate Rns= (1-α)*Rs From Table 12
=0.466*16.475 =7.677
T mean = 28 0C f(T)= 16.3 From Table 13 Calculate
n/N= 0.74 f(n/N)= 0.77 From Table 15 Rnl = f(T)*f(n/N)*f(ed) Rnl = 1.707
ed = 20.79 f(ed)= 0.136 From Table 14 Rn = Rns-Rnl Rn = 7.655-1.707 = 5.948
T mean = 28 0C W= 0.80 From Table 9 Calculate
Altitude = 1400 m WRn = 4.758
Uday/Unight = 2 C =0.96 From Table 16 Calculate ET0 = c[W.Rn+(1-
RH max =80% W).f(u)(ea-ed)] 6.07 mm/day
Rs = 10.207
CROPWAT – Computer program
• Cropwat is a computer program or software made by
FAO to compute the crop water requirement by
modified Penman method i.e. Penman Monteith
• The cropwat is used for design, management of
irrigation schemes using actual data set, through the
different steps required to calculate
evapotranspiration, crop water requirements,
scheme water supply and irrigation scheduling
• Cropwat is free software and can be downloaded
from the web page of FAO
2.5 Principal crops, Their Season and water Requirements
Principal crops:
• Rice, Wheat, Maize, Potato, Grains (Moggi, peas, grams beans etc),
vegetables, sugarcane and other cash crops like jute, tea and coffee etc.

Crop Season:
• The period during which some particular types of crops can be grown
every year on the same land is known as crop season
• Kharif Season: This season ranges from June to October. The crops are
sown in the very beginning of monsoon and harvested at the end of
The major Kharif crops are---- Rice, Millet, Maize, Jute, and Groundnut.
• Rabi Season: This season ranges from October to March. The crops are
sown in the very beginning of winter and harvested at the end of spring.
The major Rabi crops are-----Wheat, Gram, Mustard, Rapeseed, Linseed,
Pulses, Onion etc.
Crop Water Requirement of common crops in India/Nepal (no site specific
data is available for Nepal)
S.N. Crop Name Adopted depth of Cropping season Crop Period (days) Seasonal water
water for Nepal requirement (mm)
(cm) FAO data
1 Rice 120 Monsoon:June-Nove 120 (15/35/45/25) 500-1500
Spring:dec/jan-may (500-950)
2 Vegetable
Carrots 45 March-June 150(30/40/60/20) 250-500
Onion Nov/dec-Apr/may 210(20/35/110/45)
3 Wheat 40 Nov-April/may 120 (15/25/50/30) India 375-500
135 (20/25/60/30) korea
4 Maize 25 Monsoon :May-sept 140(25/40/45/30) 400-750
Winter:Nov-Mar (terai)

5 Peas 15 Dec-may 140 (35/45/35/25) 100-400

6 Barely 30 Nov-April 120 (15/25/50/30) India
135 (20/25/60/30) korea
7 Potatoes 40 Jan/feb-april/may 130 (25/30/45/30) 400-675
8 Tomatoes 45 June-sep 135(30/40/40/25) 300-600
9 small grains 40 Oct/nov-feb/march 150 (20/30/60/40) 300-450
10 Oil seeds 40 July-Dec 130 (25/35/45/25) 300-600
sun flower Nov/Dec-March/apri
11 Cottons 60 Marc/apri/may- 195(30/50/60/55) 550-900
12 Soyabeans 50 May/une-sep/oct 150 (20/25/75/30) 450-825
13 Sugar cane 120 Nov/Dec-May/June 12 to 24 months (45/75/80/30) 1000-1500
Crop calendar and area coverage
2.6 Method of Applying Water to Irrigation Field as Surface, Subsurface and
sprinkler methods

• Irrigation is the controlled application of water for

agricultural purposes through manmade systems to supply
water requirements not satisfied by rainfall
• Irrigation water can be applied below the surface of the soil,
at the surface of the soil or over the surface of the soil
• Surface: Irrigation where the irrigation water is applied at
the soil surface. The soil surface is used as a conduit like as
in furrow and border irrigation. This type of irrigation is
conventional and applied in orchards and general
agricultural farm.
Surface irrigation is also called as Gravity irrigation when the
water flow under the gravity and irrigation water sources
must be at higher elevation than the field to be irrigated.
Surface Irrigation in which the water is pumped up from the
lower elevation to the upper elevation and called as lift
The surface irrigation is inefficient and easy to apply and
economic. It is more applicable where abundant water is
available. Chances of Weed growth is high in the surface
Sprinkler Irrigation
A planned irrigation system in which
water is applied by means of
perforated pipes or nozzles operated
under pressure so as to form a spray
pattern. In this method, the water is
applied above the ground surface
somewhat resembling rainfall. The
spray is obtained by the flow of water
under pressure through small orifices
or nozzle referred to as sprinklers.
Pumps are generally used for
developing the required pressure but
when the source of water is
sufficiently above the area to be
irrigated, the required pressure may
be developed by gravity alone.
Sprinkler Irrigation
• The sprinkler method of irrigation is more useful
under the following conditions
– Land unsuitable or uneconomical for leveling
– Soils too porous highly erodible or relatively impervious
so that it is difficult to irrigate them by other method
– Rate of flow available is too low to distribute water by
surface irrigation
– Where frequent light application of irrigations are
• Advantage of Sprinkler over the surface irrigation
– Elimination of channels for conveyance, their
maintenance, and losses in conveyance
– Elimination of land for making ridges and furrows,
borders etc
– Closer control of water application convenient for giving
light and frequent irrigations and higher application
• Limitation of sprinkler irrigation
– Uneven water distributions in windy area
– High evaporation losses under high temperature
– Investment and operation cost is relatively high
compared to the surface irrigation
Sub surface or sub irrigation
Sub surface or sub irrigation
• Sub surface or sub irrigation: Applying irrigation water below the ground surface
either by raising the water table within or near the root zone or by using a buried
perforated or porous pipe system that discharges directly into the root zone.
• It is also called drip irrigation. It has high irrigation efficiency and needs
sophisticated technology.
• In the drip irrigation the pipe lines with perforated sprayer and nozzles (also called
as emitters) are kept at the root depth of the plant and water is allowed to add
directly at the root zone to produce a wet strip along the crop row or wetted bulb
of a soil at every plant. It is also called as trickle irrigation. There will be no loss of
water and so very high efficiency and more preferable in the areas of water
scarcity like in Israel where there was acute shortage of the fresh water.
Advantages of Drip irrigation
• Water distribution is in close proximity to plant root along plant row and
therefore water distribution is uniform and controlled
• Elimination of land leveling and irrigation on steeper slope
• No surface flow and no tail water losses or soil erosions
• Concurrent water and fertilizer application i.e. the fertilizers and pesticides are
also given ad the admixture to the irrigation water
• Restriction of the weed growth because of small wetted area
• The investment and operation cost is high need skilled labors and
sophisticated machines for efficient use and useful for high value cash crops
Factors affecting the selection of irrigation methods
• The suitability of the various irrigation methods, i.e. surface,
sprinkler or drip irrigation, depends mainly on the following
• natural conditions
– topogrpahy, source of water and adequacy
• type of crop
• type of technology
• previous experience with irrigation
• required labour inputs
• costs and benefits.
2.7 Techniques of Surface Irrigation and Their Sustainability
Surface irrigation techniques (methods) can be classified as follows: A) Wild flooding,
B)Controlled flooding and C)Furrow
A) Wild flooding or uncontrolled flooding: applying water to the field without any bunds
to guide the flow, land not graded or leveled, common in pasture land, low efficiency,
less cost
B) Controlled flooding: Land is leveled, subdivided by means of channels and ridges
– Border strip or border irrigation: water applied to the field divided into strips by
parallel ridges like wheat, barley, ground nuts, onion, garlic
– Check method or flat bed method: the area is divide in to square or rectangular
strips and the checks (border ridge or channels) provided paddy field
– Basin method: used for irrigation of orchard fruit trees, basins are constructed
for each tree or group of trees. Water is conveyed to each basin either by flowing
through one basin in to another or through a channel separately constructed
C) Furrow irrigation: land is divided into ridges and furrows and irrigating through the
furrows, applicable for row crops like potato, maize, sugarcane etc
– Deep furrow: Deep furrows of U shaped with depth greater than 10 cm with
suitable slopes less than 0.1% and best suited for row crops
– Corrugated: moderate to steep slopes small U shaped or V shaped closely
spaced grooves, water moves down through several grooves simultaneously
and water over tops the grooves during flow, well suited for medium and
heavy (coarse) textured soils
2.8 Advantages and Disadvantages of Surface Irrigation

• Advantages
– Small cost of investment and operation
– Does not need skilled man power and common in farmers level
– Labour intensive for maintenance and operation

• Disadvantages
– It is applicable for the locations having abundant water
– Irrigation efficiency is low
– Need level or graded land
– Losses of some lands for making ridges furrow and borders
– Promote weed growths