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Irrigation: Types of Irrigation, Sources

nabard ard notes irrigation

NABARD has recently released the NABARD Recruitment Notification 2019 for Grade A and B Posts. Unlike other banking exams, NABARD as per its exam pattern, includes subjects like Economic & Social Issues, and Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD). To help cover these two important sections, we’ll be providing you with NABARD ARD and ESI Notes. This blog is intended for NABARD Agriculture Notes, focusing on Irrigation, its sources and types. Read along to know more about it in detail:

Irrigation is described as the artificial application of water to the land or soil through various systems of tubes, pumps, and sprays. It is usually used in dry areas or where rainfall is irregular or during the period of stress for the purpose of agricultural crop production and vegetation. There are many types of irrigation systems, in which water is supplied to the entire field uniformly.

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Sources of Irrigation

The sources of water for irrigation are— wells, tube-wells, river, ponds, lakes, dams and canals.

Types of Irrigation System

There are different types of irrigation systems, on the basis of how the water is distributed throughout the field. We can categorize them into traditional and modern types. Let’s look into it in more details:

Surface Irrigation
It is the oldest system of irrigation. In this system, water moves across land, mainly by gravity, from the area of higher elevation to that of lower region in order to wet the soil and to infiltrate into the soil.

Micro Irrigation or Localized Irrigation
Water is distributed under low pressure, through a piped network and applied to each plant.

Drip Irrigation
Also a type of Micro Irrigation, this system involves usage of tubes that are used to pump water throughout the field. Here, the water is delivered in form of water droplets directly to the roots of plants.

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Sprinkler Irrigation
Water is distributed by overhead high-pressure sprinklers or guns from one or more central location within the field or from sprinklers on moving platforms. It can also be in form of rotary irrigation in which the sprinkler whirls around to distribute water in circular motion.

Center pivot Irrigation
This system also involves sprinkler but here, the water is distributed by a system of sprinklers that are mounted on wheeled towers and sprinkle water over the crops in a circular manner.

Lateral Move irrigation
Water is distributed through a series of pipes, each with a wheel  of about 1.5 m diameter and a set of sprinklers. Water is supplied from one end using a large hose. The hose has be removed and whole assembly needs to be rolled either by hand or with any mechanism to move the sprinkler to another position when sufficient irrigation has been done on one strip of the field.

Sub irrigation is most effective in areas that have high water tables. Here, the water is distributed across the land by raising the water table, through a system of pumping stations, canals, weirs, gates, and ditches.

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Irrigation System: Traditional 

The water available in wells, lakes and canals is lifted up by different methods in different regions, for taking it to the fields. Cattle or human labour is used in these methods. So these methods are cheaper, but less efficient. The various traditional ways are:

Moat (Pulley System)

It is also called the pulley system. This system involves manually pulling up water from a well with the help of a pulley to irrigate the land. 

Chain Pump

A chain pump consists of two large wheels connected by an endless chain. The bottom wheel is half immersed in the water source. The buckets are attached to the chain. As the wheel turns, the buckets attached to it picks up water. The chain later lifts the buckets to the upper wheel where the water gets deposited into a source. And the empty bucket gets carried back down.


This system involves drawing water from a well or any similar source. Here, a rope and a bucket is tied to the pole and at the other end, a heavy stick is tied to counterbalance.This pole is used to draw up water.

Rahat (Lever System)

In this system of irrigation, water is drawn out of the well using animals/ cattles. The animals like cow, buffalo, etc. are connected to the wheel. As the animals move, the wheels rotate which helps to draw water from the well.

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That’s all from  us in this article. We hope you liked reading the free NABARD ARD Notes for NABARD Grade B and Grade A Officer Exam. Keep visiting this space for all the NABARD 2019 Exam updates, FREE Study Notes and Mock Tests.

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