Advantages And Disadvantages of Irrigation

Advantages of Irrigation 

The following are the direct and indirect advantages of irrigation:  

Advantages And Disadvantages of Irrigation
Advantages And Disadvantages of Irrigation

Direct advantages of Irrigation

Following 4 types of direct advantages of irrigation are described below:

(i) Increase in Food Production 

Irrigation improves the yield of crops, which leads to an increase in food production, thus developing people as well as society.

(ii) Revenue generation

When a consistent supply of water is guaranteed for irrigation, the cultivators can grow certain predominant or expensive crops(like cash crops) instead of substandard or low priced crops. In this manner, income is created.

(iii) Protection against drought 

The provision of adequate irrigation facilities in any region ensures protection against failure of crops from famine or droughts.

(iv) Mixed cropping

Means sowing of at least two types of crops together in a similar field. This practice is followed so that if climate conditions are not good for one crop it might be reasonable for other crops. But if irrigation facilities are made available, the need for mixed cropping is eliminated:

Indirect advantages of Irrigation

Following 4 types of indirect advantages of irrigation are described below:

(i) Power generation

Major river valleys projects are generally planned to generate hydroelectric power together with irrigation.  However, comparatively a small quantity of hydroelectric power might also be generated at a small cost on projects which are primarily planned for irrigation.

(ii) Transportation 

The irrigation canals are provided with unsurfaced roads primarily for purposes of inspection and maintenance. These roads give a decent pathway to nearby people. The network of irrigation canals can be used for the transportation of goods as well as human beings.

 (iii) Groundwater table

In areas where irrigation facilities are provided, due to constant percolation of a portion of the water flowing in the canals and also that is supplied to the field, the groundwater storage is increased and consequently, the groundwater table is raised.

 (iv) Employment 

During the constructions of irrigation works, employment is provided.

Disadvantages of Irrigation

1. The enormous supply of irrigation water tempts the cultivators to use more water than required. Due to Excess water supplied to the field, which leads to percolating water into the soil. Hence, due to the constant percolation groundwater table would be raised and will prompt waterlogging.   

2. The groundwater can get polluted due to seepage of the nitrates (applied to the soil as fertilizers)  into the groundwater.

Read Also: 

Types Of Irrigation

Under-Sluices And Their Function


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