Our 70% population directly, indirectly dependent upon on Agriculture. Agriculture sector share about 26% of GDP of Pakistan. All crops depend upon seeds, vegetative time, minerals present in the soil and mainly irrigation.

There are two major ways to use agricultural water, one is rain fed farming mean natural process through which soil get water directly through rainfall and second way is irrigation. Irrigation is one of the major process that need all the crops to survive and produce maximum yield. It is the artificial process in which control amount of water is given to the field at need time intervals. Irrigation helps to maintain the growth, structure, color, fruit etc of the plant so at the time of harvesting field will produce more yield. There are two major ways to use agricultural water, one is rain fed farming mean natural process through which soil get water directly through rainfall and second way is irrigation.

Before 4500 BC, there was no irrigation system. All the crops were dependent on the rainfall, areas where rainfall was less fought with lost of problems to survive, if survive than they were giving very low amount of yield. In 3000 BC, Indus Valley Civilization developed water-storage systems and sophisticated irrigation. Canal Irrigation was started in 2600 BC. Around 1800 BC, The Ancients Nubian developed  waterwheel, form of irrigation which was dependent on the flooded water of Nile river and some other rivers of Sudan.

Irrigation is the artificial process of given water to the soil through canals, tube wells, water pumps, drips, etc. Irrigation is mainly used in areas where rainfall is very low and drought is expected.

There are many types of irrigation system.

  1. Surface Irrigation
  2. Localized Irrigation
  3. Drip Irrigation
  4. Manual Irrigation
  5. Lateral Move Irrigation
  6. Sprinkler Irrigation
  7. Center Pivot Irrigation

Surface Irrigation: Surface Irrigation consists of a broad class of irrigation methods in which water is distributed over the soil surface by gravity flow, no external mechanical pump is involved. This is not suitable for the highly sandy soil. Water distribution is uniform and uncontrolled. Some time Soil salinization occur because of  capillary action drawing up salts from below to the wetted soil above. There are further types of surface irrigation that are follows:

  1. Basin Irrigation
  2. Furrow Irrigation
  3. Border Strip Irrigation
  4. Flood Irrigation

Localized Irrigation: In Localized Irrigation water is spread throughout the land under low pressure. There is piped network, that passes throughout the soil.It is mostly used for proper water distribution so that every plant can get equal quantity of the water.

Drip Irrigation: In Drip Irrigation system water is applied directly on the root of every plants in the forms of drops. In this process there are very low chance of evaporation and runoff so in this process there is less water loss.This process is suited to any soil. Water distribution is uniform and controlled. It has highest investment cost but can reduced labor cost.

Manual Irrigation: In Manual Irrigation process water is spread across evenly around the field with the help of manual power such as labors and watering cans. In this labor give the water to the individual plant by watering cans. This process take lot of labor and time.

Lateral Move Irrigation: In Lateral Move Irrigation process water is spread throughout the farm by series of pipes that are controlled by hands. This process is very cheaper but it take lot of labor.

Sprinkler Irrigation: In Sprinkler Irrigation method water is sprayed or sprinkled through air and it fall like rain drops on the plants. The sprayed machine are permanently fixed in the farms and sometime temporary so they can easily move the machine to the other part of farm.

Center Pivot Irrigation: In Center Pivot Irrigation water is sprayed throughout the farm area by machine of sprinkler that move of wheeled tower in the circle or 360 degree pattern. it is most effective irrigation system but mostly used in USA.


Saira Tariq & Dr. Muhammmad Yaseen

Department of Agriculture Extension,

College of Agriculture, UOS, Sargodha