Irrigation and Drainage


Most of the soil received water through the rain. Water is also added to the soil by way of irrigation from well, tank or canal etc. Though the primary sources of water for irrigation are rainfall and snow they are not available throughout the year in all the arable areas and in appropriate quantities required by each crop. They recharge the other water bodies in the earth.

  • Canal Irrigation

Irrigation water in India is supplied from canals that is from major medium and minor irrigation project. Water is carried from the main outlet of the irrigation project through the main canal, branch canals, minors and distributories for irrigating lands. This distribution of water from the projects is looked after by the Irrigation Department. Beyond the distributory head it is the responsibility of the beneficiary cultivators to take water to their fields.

  • Well Irrigation

Different types of wells are used for drawing water for irrigation. Water is lifted by different sources of power such as manual, animal, wind, solar, fuel oil and electric.

  • Water Lifts

Canal water flows into fields by gravity but water from wells has to be lifted by some kind of water lift and made available to crops. The following water lifts are in use in India.

  1. Those worked by human power viz., (a) swinging basket and (b) picotah

  2. Those worked by bullock power viz., (a) iron or leather mhote, (b) Persian wheel (rahat)

  3. Those worked by engine or electric power viz., (a) oil engines and pumps and (b) electric motors and pumps of various horse power.