Choosing an Irrigation Method

Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO)

Type: Webpage
Knowledge level: Intermediate

Farm Table says:

This chapter gives some very broad guidance and indicates several important criteria in the selection of a suitable irrigation method.  There is much too consider before developing your system

This webpage created by FAO looks at Irrigation Water Management and the Irrigation methods that are available.

To choose an irrigation method, the farmer must know the advantages and disadvantages of the various methods. He or she must know which method suits the local conditions best.

Unfortunately, in many cases there is no single best solution: all methods have their advantages and disadvantages. Testing of the various methods – under the prevailing local conditions – provides the best basis for a sound choice of irrigation method.

The key sections for Sprinkler or Drip Irrigation include:

  • Natural conditions – The natural conditions such as soil type, slope, climate, water quality and availability, will impact on the choice of an irrigation method
  • Type of Crop
  • Type of technology
  • Previous experience with irrigation
  • Required labour inputs
  • Costs and benefits

The key sections for Surface irrigation include:

  • Basin, Furrow or Border Irrigation – which one is suitable
  • Natural circumstances
  • Type of Crop
  • Required depth of irrigation application
  • Level of technology
  • Previous experience with irrigation
  • Required labour inputs

In conclusion, it is not possible to give specific guidelines leading to a single best solution; each option has its advantages and disadvantages – you will need to find the one that works best in your situation.

United States - Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO)
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