Explain various types of irrigation systems in India . How can efficiency of applied water be increased in agriculture .

Asked by jeffladebo | 12th May, 2015, 04:49: PM

Expert Answer:

Various types of irrigation systems in India are as follows:

Traditional methods of irrigation

Canal irrigation

  • In India, irrigation of extensive areas is carried out by canals.
  • The main canal receives water from different sources such as reservoirs or rivers and branches further for irrigation.

Moat/Pulley system




  • The pulley system along with a rope and bucket is known as a moat.
  • Water is lifted out from the well by using a bucket attached to a rope which passes over the pulley. The rope is either pulled by man or by animals.
  • Water is directly taken out from wells and used to irrigate fields.

Persian wheel (Rahat system)


  • A Persian wheel is a simple water-lifting device.
  • It consists of a large wooden wheel with several buckets arranged on its outer rim. The whole arrangement is submerged in an open well.
  • The wheel is yoked to a pair of animals like bullocks. They move around in circles thus rotating the wheel and, in turn, the buckets.
  • The buckets dip in the well, collect water and empty it into an intricate network of channels which distribute water in the cropped area.

Swing basket method


  • The swing basket is an ancient water-lifting device.
  • It consists of a bamboo basket to which four ropes are attached.
  • Two people stand facing each other and swing the basket to fill in water.
  • The basket is raised and water is discharged in the crop field.



  • Dhekli is generally used to lift water from an unlined well, stream or pond.
  • It consists of a lever rod supported on a vertical post about which it can swing in a vertical direction. 

Chain pump


  • The chain pump is used to lift water from a shallow well. 
  • It is useful to lift water from a depth of about 6 metres.  

Modern methods of irrigation

Basin irrigation

  • It is a kind of surface irrigation.
  • The land is surrounded with embankments in the form of a basin.
  • Basins are flooded with water.
  • It is used for crops which require a large amount of water to grow.

Furrow irrigation

  • It is a kind of surface irrigation.
  • Small channels or furrows are created along the field length between crop rows.
  • It is used for crops which do not require much water.

Drip irrigation

  • Water is supplied through perforated pipes.
  • Pipes are placed in rows between the plants close to the roots.
  • It is the best method for water scarce regions because a lot of water is saved.
  • It is used for fruit orchards, gardens and trees.

Sprinkle irrigation

  • Sprinklers or spray guns are attached to a large hosepipe at regular intervals to spray water.
  • It is suitable for all types of crops.

Increase in the efficiency of the applied water is often possible through the following measures:

  • Suitable crop selection
  • Proper irrigation scheduling
  • Effective irrigation techniques
  • Use of alternative sources of water for irrigation

Answered by Sheetal Kolte | 12th May, 2015, 05:53: PM

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