What is Irrigation: Definition and 12 Discussions

Irrigation is the artificial process of applying controlled amounts of water to land to assist in production of crops. Irrigation helps to grow agricultural crops, maintain landscapes, and revegetate disturbed soils in dry areas and during periods of less than average rainfall. Irrigation also has other uses in crop production, including frost protection, suppressing weed growth in grain fields and preventing soil consolidation. In contrast, agriculture that relies only on direct rainfall is referred to as rain-fed.
Irrigation systems are also used for cooling livestock, dust suppression, disposal of sewage, and in mining. Irrigation is often studied together with drainage, which is the removal of surface and sub-surface water from a given location.

Irrigation has been a central feature of agriculture for over 5,000 years and is the product of many cultures. Historically, it was the basis for economies and societies across the globe, from Asia to the Americas.

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  1. berkeman

    Small-scale hydropower generators installed in irrigation canals

    This is an interesting idea, with easier permitting and infrastructure advantages... https://www.cbsnews.com/sanfrancisco/news/hydro-power-generators-central-valley-irrigation-canals/
  2. S

    How to choose a pump for a simple irrigation system

    We are planning to plant 500 trees, and we want to water it, but we are not sure how to calculate the suitable pump for it, and the holes diameters that we will pinch for each tree (500 holes). The system will include two elbows, and the distance of the pipes are all included in the below link...
  3. Pumpquestions

    Will this pump work for my artificial irrigation system?

    Hi all, I am designing an artificial rain system and was thinking about using http://www.dannermfg.com/Store/Products/Danner/PID-02720.aspx to power it. The goal of the system is to deliver roughly 1 gallon of water per hour to each of the 8 exit points (I will measure this by using a bucket...
  4. Glurth

    How can I ensure even water flow to my garden?

    I would like to setup a subsurface irrigation system for my garden. I have several beds which, while I made each one perfectly level, are at different elevations (about 1 or 2 feet between each) . The source of the water will be a permanently mounted bucket, barrel or cistern of some kind...
  5. P

    Wind induced waves in narrow irrigation canals

    Hi, We are trying to estimate the likely maximum wave generated from wind blowing along an irrigation canal. We will subsequently estimate runup and the required freeboard to prevent overtopping. Our canal is ~ 5m deep, has 1:2 side-slopes and a 4.6m wide base. The canal is aligned with...
  6. S

    Need assistance designing irrigation system

    Hello all, I'm putting the finishing touches on a gravity fed irrigation system and I would like some informed input on my design. The system starts at a creek about 500 feet uphill of my garden. The creek usually dries up during the driest parts of the year, which means I need a reservoir...
  7. S

    Irrigation from artificial paving stones?

    Would it be possible to design a paving stone with a reservoir of some kind under it that would let water drain through the stone into the reservoir and then very gradually seep into the ground around the stone? In a dry climate, the goal would be to create an area of a lawn that was part...
  8. S

    Engineering If you are an irrigation engineer ,tell me a little about your work please

    stuff like -What degree did you study -What a typical day is like for you -How closely you get involved in what is being irrigated (plants ,trees...) -What advice you would give me (a mechanical engineering student who wants to work in a profession related to agriculture
  9. C

    Efficient Water Irrigation System Design for Optimal Flow: Homework Help

    Homework Statement A water tank of 500litres is to deliver 1liter of water per hour to 3 locations each 15meters from the tank. 2. Homework Equations , i think... Reynolds number? Pressure? = pAhg/A of base Flow rate = volume/time Average velocity = flow rate / cross sectional...
  10. C

    Physics of Drip Irrigation: Pressure Calculations for Rain Barrel Design

    I'm working on a drip irrigation project to present to the management at my work (a home improvement store) in hopes that my design will become a display in the store. However, even with my current knowledge of physics, I can't seem to figure out the following issue: I'm using a 50 gallon...
  11. B

    Impact of irrigation on global warming?

    I once had a discussion with a Ph.D. at a university regarding global warming. His answer was interesting and something that I do not see addressed commonly in global warming discussion. He basically stated that when we change the biomass on a piece of land, such as a large tract of land and...
  12. C

    Why Are Agricultural Businesses Investing 65% in Irrigation Research?

    I was watching a show on the "Rural Network" yesterday (yes, I live in the boonies) and they were talking about irrigation. The topics included types of irrigation, research, policies, etc.. Well, during the portion of the show about irrigation research, the guy mentioned that nearly all...