Water Lifting

There are several devices for lifting water from low level water reservoirs, such as wells, lakes and rivers. 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 horsepower.

Appliances Worked By Human Power

  • Swinging basket

This water lift usually consists of fibre basket or metal can with a capacity of two to three gallons. It is used to lift and throw water into the field channel 60 to 90 cm., above the water level in the reservoir. It can lift 800 gallons (3,640 litres) of water per hour to a height of 45 to 60 cm.

  • Picotah

This water lift is worked on the principle of levers. It is very economical and efficient in lifting water from shallow wells to a height of 3.5 to 4.5m. The lift consists of a strong log laid across a fulcrum, a basket attached to the long arm by means of a bamboo or a rope and a heavy weight. It requires to men, when the bucket is full one gently releases the rope and the bucket comes up as the stone goes down. The bucket is emptied into the field channel and again lowered into the well.

Appliances Worked By Bullock Power

  • Mhote

The mhote bucket is made of either metal or leather and holds about 40 to 50 gallons of water. At the bottom of the bucket there is leather spout, which is operated by a separate rope attached to the yoke of the bullocks. A second and stronger rope is fastened to the top of the bucket and runs over pulley to the bullock yoke. When the bullocks run down the inclined plane, both the ropes are pulled. The one attached to the mhote filled with water lifts the mhote and the other tied to the spout keeps its mouth upwards and prevents spilling any water. When the mhote reaches the top the spout opens and water runs into a trough and then into the field channel. The bullocks then back up to lower the mhote in the well and the operation is repeated.

  • Persian wheel

It consists of one long iron axle about 4.5m., long with one large gear wheel at one end and one small gear wheel at the other end. The iron axle is laid on the ground such that the large gear wheel can rotate freely into the well. The length of the chain is such that one or two lower most buckets dip into the water in the well and get filled up. The gear at the other end of the axle meshes with another gear which is fastened to a shaft that extends at right angles and upward about 90 cm. A pole is fastened at right angles to this upright shaft and is pulled by bullocks walking in a circular motion. As the bullocks pull the pole around, the gear wheel turns and that in turn moves the chain with buckets full of water on upward journey.. This is used for lifting water from a well up to a depth of about 6 to 9 m., and can deliver about 2,500 gallons (11, 375 litres) of water per hour.

Appliances Worked By Engines and Electricity

Horizontal and turbine pumps worked with petrol, diesel or electric motors, are the most popular water lifting devices of today. They are of various capacities, up to 2,00,000 1/hr or more. A large area can be commanded with pumps having such capacities

  • Oil engines and pumps

Oil engines used for pumping water are commonly from 5 to 10 horsepower with pumps 5 to 10 cm., in size. These have to be fitted within 22 feet (6.6m.) of the water level and hence in deep wells have to be installed inside the well on a platform. The water once sucked in by the pump can be delivered to any height one likes. Oil engines are easy to manage and if properly maintained and looked after will serve for at least 10 to 15 years.

  • Electric motors with pumps

Because of their economy and very little maintenance and care, electric motors are rapidly replacing oil engines in villages where electricity is available. It is advisable to consult agricultural extension officer regarding the horsepower of oil engine, to purchase of right kind of motor with pump etc.