Irrigation systems move water from one area to another to compensate for inadequate rainfall. It’s used primarily on farms to water field crops and to maintain pastures for grazing animals. Irrigation systems are also occasionally used on residential property to water gardens and lawns.
Farm irrigation was in use as far back as the 6th Century BC in the Middle East. These areas would not have had enough rainfall to support the crops they were able to produce without the help of irrigation.
Thousands of years ago, irrigation was engineered with carefully placed canals that relied on gravity to move the water. Many of today’s irrigation systems still work off this same principal and feature canals that rely on gravity for power.
Surface irrigation systems rely on gravity to move the water from one place to another. By using furrows to steer the water, controlled floods are unleashed on the land to water them.
Seepage irrigation gives water to plants from below in areas where there is a high water table. This method requires raising the water table through a system of pumps and canals.
Probably the least disruptive to any farm chemicals you’ve applied to your fields is sprinkler irrigation describes irrigation in which the water is pumped through a series of pipes or hoses, and then sprayed over the land.
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