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Irrigation Methods



Rotating head Perforated pipes


Furrow Border Check Basin

(i) Soil type:- Infiltration rate, field capacity and water holding capacity. (ii)Crops:- Type of crops (close growing or row crop), root zone depth, critical stages of irrigation, water requirement, market value etc. (iii)Land holding:- Size of holding, consolidated or fragmented, cultivated by owner or given to share cropper. (iv)Topography:- Shape and slope of the land, depth of soil, cost of levelling. (v)Climate:Rainfall, temperature, wind velocity and relative humidity.

(vi)Water supply:- Source, discharge, quality, guarantee of supply. (vii) Labour:- Availability, wages, efficiency, political problems. (viii)Economical:- Economical status of the farmer, credit availability, cost of water and modern irrigation facilities, market price of produce etc. Others:- Salinity, alkalinity, high water table and drainage problems.

The border method of irrigation is most commonly used to irrigate all close growing crops and sometimes row crops. The farm is divided into number of strips separate(] h, low ridges or borders generally parallel to each other. The borders are almost flat aloe_ the width but have a gentle uniform longitudinal slope in the range of 0.05 to 0.5%. If a soil has very high infiltration rate the. method is not suitable. Therefore, die method is better suited to soils having moderately low to moderate high infiltration rates.

(i) The border method of irrigation is suitable for a wide range of crop and
conditions. (ii)High efficiencies can be achieved if the system is properly designed operated. (iii)Due to longitudinal slope available in the borders, surface drainage become easy (iv)Construction of border consumes less labour than the check basin method (v)Land unutilized due to construction 01' ridges is less compared to check method.

Design of Border Irrigation System Design Steps:(i)Width of border. The maximum width generally recommended is 15 metres which requires a discharge of about 30 1ps. Width of border selected on the bases of discharge capacity.

(ii)Border length. The length of the border should be such that the entire root zone gets saturated without excessive deep percolation or run-off loss. Generally recommended lengths are given below:Sandy and sandy loam soils Medium loam soils Clay loam and clay soils 60 to 120 metres 100 to 180 metres 150 to 300 metres.

(iii)Border slope. decided by the texture of the soil. A sandy or loam soil slopes in range of 0.3 to 0.6% . In medium textured soils slope of 0.2 to 0.4%. For heavy textured clay soils slope should be further less in the rang-i-, 0.05 to 0.2%

(iv)Stream size. the stream size cal. approximately 2 Ips per metre width of the border.

The procedure consists in determining the intake rate by the ring filtrometer for determining the time required for a particular depth Infiltrate into the soil.

CHECK BASIN METHOD OF IRRIGATION:Check basin method of irrigation is most suitable for irrigating paddy and different close growing crops in soils having gentle slope or in level land. Adaptability: (i)This method is suitable generally in level land. (ii)Both row crops and close growing crops can be irrigated by this method. (iii)The crops which are affected by temporary ponding of water cannot be irrigated by this method. (iv)The method is quite suitable and has advantage over border method for irrigation in heavy clay soil. (v)Highly permeable soils can also be irrigated by check basin method.. (vi)By using this method of irrigation, several crops can be grown in the same field in sequence without making any significant change in the layout. (vii)In a mechanized farm, the method cannot be used for irrigation. (viii)This method requires more number of labours.

Design of Check Basin Method

Design Steps:(i)To evaluate the optimum size of a basin, the following steps may be followed. (a) The depth of irrigation required can be calculated by using the follo-a equation

where d = depth of irrigation to be applied, cm = moisture content at field capacity, = moisture content at the time of irrigation = apparent specific gravity of soil, D = effective root zone depth.

(ii)The time required to infiltrate d cm of water can be calculated from the equation d = atb here t = elapsed time or infiltration opportunity time, min. a and b are characteristic constants. The values of a and b are determined by conducting infiltration tests in the field. (iii)The available stream size should be known. If the discharge is very high, it `could be suitably divided into several parts to irrigate more number of checks at a time. (iv) length can be calculated by using the equation, L = mtn Where,L = length of advance in time, to = plot length, Advance time t,, is taken equal to one fourth of the time required to wet the root = t/4, m and n are constants. The values of m and n depend upon the discharge per unit width of the check basin,texture of the soil and land slope.


(i)Furrow irrigation is commonly used to irrigate row crops such as maize, sugarcane, onion, some vegetables etc.
(ii)Furrow method of irrigation is suitable for almost all types of soils. (iii)To achieve high application efficiency, proper land levelling and grading are necessary. A mild uniform slope should be provided in the longitudinal direction to allow water to move in the furrow without getting ponded due to obstruction

Advantages of furrow irrigation method:(i)Water contacts only 20 to 40% of the total land area,

(ii)In crops like maize which are affected due to ponding of water, the method is suitable as the crop does not come in direct contact with water. (iii)Wastage of land in preparation of field channel and bonds is reduced as compared .xck basin system.
(iv)The soil is not completely saturated during irrigation and early cultivation is Ne which is a special advantage in heavy soils. (v)Both high and low discharge can be handled efficiently. In case of high -,arge, the stream can be divided to irrigate number of furrows at a time.

(vi) When salinity problem is encountered, double row beds, alternate furrows or other methods which avoid salt accumulation near the young plants can be adoptedfurrow irrigation method. (vii)The furrows are very effective in areas requiring surface drainage. (viii)For conservation of rainwater, furrows can be very useful. (ix)In case of limited irrigation water availability the systems of paired row, alternate furrow and skip furrow result in considerable saving of water.

Design of Furrow Irrigation System The design of the furrow irrigation system depends upon the infiltration rate, available stream size, topography and crops grown. The flow phenomenon in a furrow is similar to that of open channel flow. The important point that should be considered in the design of furrow irrigation method is that the entire root zone should be wetted and the depth of penetration should be uniform as far as possible to avoid excessive deep percolation loss. This can be achieved by allowing uniform time of ponding or infiltration opportunity time for entire length of furrow.

Design steps for furrow method:(i)Furrow spacing:- Furrow spacing mainly depends on the crops grown and farming equipments The row to row spacing of maize varies between 60 tc cm and the most common spacing is 75 cm. Therefore, furrow spacing of maize is generally 75 cm. (ii)Depth of furrow:-Depth of furrow varies between 12 to 15 cm. for vegetables varies between 40 to 60 cm. (iii)Furrow length:-The optimum length of a furrow depends on the soil texture, slope,depth of irrigation and stream size. Land slope has a significant effect on the length of furrow. Soil Length Sandy 2oom Loam 4oom Clay loam 800m Clay 8oom

(iv)Stream size:Apart from other factors, the size of the stream depends up on the availability of discharge. Most commonly used stream size varies in the range of 0.5 to 2.5 litres per second.

The following empirical relation can be used for calculating the non-erosive stream size :

where q = maximum non-erosive stream, litres per second s = slope of the furrow expressed as a percent.

Evaluation of furrow irrigation:However, the ring infiltrometer will not be applicable to furrows as in case of furrows, only apart of ,oil is exposed to the water. The intake rate in the furrows is determined either by the ponding method or by the inflow-outflow method. In the ponding method a sectionof three consecutive furrows are selected and mild steel plates are driven to create buffer around the control portion of the furrow under observation. A correct assessment of the furrow infiltration is obtained by what is In as the inflow-outflow method. In this method a 30 m reach of the furrow is selected. Water is allowed to flow in three consecutive furrows s. The inflow and outflow rates in the control furrow are measured outer furrows are known as guard furrows and they help in obtaining representative value of the furrow infiltration in the central furrow.

In case, ground water table is close to surface or there is a hard pan below the root zone, the crop can be irrigated by subirrigation method. the following conditions should be satisfied for application of sub-irrigation method. Either high water rabic should be available or a hard impermeable pan shoat be located below the root zone so that the applied water is not lost through deep percolation. Highly permeable surface soil such as loam or sandy loam should be present Uniform topographic conditions and moderate land slopes are necessary. The capillary movement in the root zone soil should be rapid. Water used for irrigation should not be saline.

DRIP IRRIGATION:Drip irrigation also known as trickle irrigation or micro irrigation.It is a artificial application of water directly to the root zone plant for better production on economical bases.

Components of the Drip Irrigation System The drip irrigation system consists of (1)water source, (2)pumping system to pump water. (3)Head unit, (a)Filtration Equipments, (b)Fertigation Equipments, (c)Safety Equipments,(NRV,PRV,ARV,PG,VBV,etc) (d)Fitting & Accessories. (i) main lines, (ii) sub mains,

(4)Water distribution system:-

(i) main lines, (ii) sub mains, (iii)control valve(ball valve,gate valve,butterfly valve) (iv) laterals, (v)emitters (online,inline) (vi)flushing unit.
Design of Drip Irrigation System:-

Design of Drip Irrigation System:-

What is drip irrigation design ? Design is a process of putting right at right place to get maximum return to famers. Design steps:(i) Survey the area of field (ii) Decide Lateral spacing & Dripper spacing according to crop (iii) Length of emitting pipe = Area(m2)/Lateral spacing(m) (iv) No. of drippers = Total length of emitting pipe/Dripper spacing(m) (v) Total discharge {Q (lph)} = No. of drippers Dripper discharge (vi) Pump hp = Q(lps) H(m)/75 (effi.) (vii) PWR = pan evaporation crop coefficient(Kc) pan coefficient (viii) AR = Dripper discharge/dripper spacing lateral spacing (ix) Shift duration = PWR/AR (x) Q=Area(Ha) PWR 10/ Time (xi) Q=Area(Acra) PWR 10/ Time (xii)No. of shift = Power available (hr)/shift duration (hrs)

Advantages of Drip Irrigation System:Irrigation is possible with low available discharge. Deep percolation and evaporation losses are minimum and therefore, high application efficiency is achieved.

Labour requirement is minimized.

Soil crusting reduces. Root penetration is better.

Optimum use of fertilizer is possible.

Weed growth is minimize. Soil with low as well as high intake rates can be irrigated. Land area required for bunds and ridges is saved. Crop growth is generally better.

Limitations of Drip Irrigation System:Initial capital investment is very high. High skill is required for design, installation and maintenance of the system. Clogging of emitters may create problem.

16 Design of Drip Irrigation System:Design of the drip irrigation system is done taking into consider-on the irrigation needs, topography and the available materials. The hydraulic characteristics of the pipelines and the components used should be known. The design of the system consists in deciding the size of the piping unit, size of the main line and laterals, location of emitters, their charge capacity etc. As there is a wide variation in the drip systems available, the design is to be based on the available materials and the situation under consideration.

SPRINKLER IRRIGATION The method of application of water to the soil surface in the form of a spray, somewhat similar to rainfall is called sprinkler irrigation. The method was introduced in the world about 90 years ago but its application was increased to larger areas only about 70 years ago.

Advantages and Adaptability of Sprinkler Irrigation Very light textured porous soils which cannot be properly irrigated by surface methods can be efficiently irrigated by the sprinkler method. Land having steep slopes can easily be irrigated. Land levelling is not necessary and the cost of levelling is saved. Undulating land with shallow soil depth cannot be levelled for application of water by surface method, but can easily be irrigated by sprinkler method. Most of the crops except those requiring ponded water can be irrigated. Gross water requirement is lower as the application loss in minimum. At the early stages of the crop, small quantity can be more precisely applie-' Labour requirement for irrigation is low, specially for a permanent installat

Sprinkler irrigation system can protect the crop from frost during severe winter periods. Fertilizers can be applied to the crops in measured quantities through system and they do not percolate beyond the root zone. The problems of soil compaction and water logging are eliminated as the water is applied at a rate at which soil can absorb it. Field channels and bunds are not required. Therefore, more land area is available for cultivation. When it is required to pump the irrigation water from its source, additional head for sprinkler can be obtained with minimum of additional investment. With proper design the interference with cultivation and other farming can be minimised

Disadvantages and Limitations

Initial capital investment is very high compared to any surface method of irrigation except very undulating areas where the cost of land levelling may be very high Operation of the sprinkler system requires a pressure generally in the range of I to 4 kg/cm2 Extra operating cost is required to operate a pump to develop this pressure.

For heavy clay with a very low infiltration rate of 2.5 mm per hour, the method is not suitable, specially in a windy area. . In a place of high wind, the distribution of water will not be uniform and evaporation will increase. The water used for irrigation should be relatively clean. Water containing dissolved salts, debris etc., cannot be used. Skilled personnel are required for the maintenance of the sprinkler components specially the nozzles.

Types of Sprinklers Based on the method of water application, the sprinklers are classified as (i) fixed nozzle attached to the pipe, (ii) perforated pipe, and (iii) rotating nozzles.
Based on portability:sprinklers can be divided as (i) portable type, (ii) semipermanent type, and (iii ) permanent type.

Components of the Sprinkler System

The sprinkler system consists of (1)main line, (2) laterals, (3) risers and sprinkler heads. (4)In addition a pump is required to develop the necessary pressure(centrifugal,turbine). To achieve additional benefits components like (1)regulating valves, (2) desilting devices, (3) debris screens, (4) fertilizer appIicators etc. may be attached. The most important component of a sprinkler system is the head. it is responsible for proper distribution and application of water.

Design steps:(1)Inventory of Resources:This consists in obtaining information about available Land, water and equipments. Topographical map Source of water, Availability of water Quantity and quality of water Amount of sediment present in the water Power source (2)Quantity of Water to be Applied:The quantity of water applied & the period of irrigation depends up on crops, climate, soil water requirement of crops water holding capacity of soil

(3)Capacity of the System:The capacity of sprinkler system capacity of the pump to be used depends upon the area to be irrigated the depth of water applied at each irrigation, the time allowed to this water and the application efficiency. The capacity is given formula :

Q=27.8Ad/FHE Q= capacity of the pump 1/s, A= area to be irrigated in hectares, d= depth of application in cm., F= irrigation interval in days, H= operating hours per day, and E= application efficiency expressed as fraction

(4)Application rate :- The rate of application of the sprinkler

system is limited by the infiltration capacity of the soil . Soil type ,crop cover &slope .

(5)Selection of Sprinklers:- After the rate of application is known, the sprinkler spacing is determind by q= q= discharge of the sprinkler (1/s), Si= sprinkler spacing along lateral (in), Sm=sprinkler spacing between ftines or move (m), and I= application rate (cm/hr).

The distribution pattern of sprinklers is affected by the spacing of the sprinklers, nozzle pressure, speed of rotation and wind velocity. The discharge from an individual sprinkler, the efficiency should be taken into consideration. Discharge from an individual sprinkler is given by q=Ca (2 gh)1/2...

q=discharge (M3/S), a=area of the nozzles (m), g=acceleration due to gravity (m/s2), h=pressure head (m), and C=coefficient of discharge.
Discharge for the sprinkler nozzles varies from 0.80 to 0.95 normally.

(6) Design of Laterals.

The sprinkler lateral is connected to the and has the risers and sprinklers located on it. A uniform diameter of the lateral is adopted. Frictional loss in the lateral is calculated using Scobey formula

Hf =total friction loss in line in ft., Ks=coefficient of retardation, L=length of pipe in ft, Q=total discharge in gpm, and D=inside diameter of the pipe in ft.

the average pressure head in a lateral can expressed approximately by

where , = is the pressure at the sprinkler on the farthest end. When lateral is on nearly level land or on the contour. the pressure head at the main due to the lateral ( ) is given by

The head at the main line due to a lateral be expressed as

= head at the main line =average head in the sprinkler lateral,


=friction loss in a sprinkler lateral, =maximum difference in elevation between the and the last sprinkler on the lateral, and =riser height.


of the Main Line.

The main line diameter is selected into consideration the rate of flow and the frictional losses. The the pipe size the lesser will be the frictional losses but the cost of a size diameter pipe is more than a pipe of smaller diameter. (8)Selection of Pump and Power Unit. For selecting the pump and the power unit for the sprinkler system, the total head against which units are to operate is to be determined. The total head H, is given by

Hn=maximum head required at the main to the sprinklers Hf=total friction loss in the main and suction line including couplings and other fittings, Hj=elevation difference between the pump junction of the lateral and the main, and Hs=suction head.

(9) General Considerations for Layout.

The layout of the sprinkler item depends , largely on the local conditions. Some general guidelines can only be given. The main lines should be laid along the slope and laterals across the slope or nearly on the contour.