Types of Irrigation Systems for Agriculture

Farmers and landscape owners have been using irrigation systems for watering crops and fields for centuries. The irrigation systems have undergone various developments since the beginning of agriculture. Traditional methods of irrigation were not as efficient as we use today.

The modern irrigation systems enable us to conserve water for the future and irrigate the areas with lack of water. There are a variety of irrigation methods available today. Let us check both the conventional and modern irrigation systems available.

Surface Irrigation


The most commonly used method of watering the plants is called surface irrigation. Also known as flood irrigation, the technique is used for centuries for watering of plants for agriculture. It is used in fields, lawns, and gardens. The method involves one of the multiple hoses connected to a source, and they supply the water in the fields. Water spreads on the surface of fields or lawns by the action of gravity. Surface irrigation is common but is the least efficient method.

Micro irrigation systems

These irrigation systems can obtain high efficiency and minimize water losses. They supply water to crops at a steady rate to help conservation and reduce the losses like evaporation and seepage into the ground. They are useful for areas with low availability of water and weed issues. Micro irrigations systems help the landscape owners to achieve energy efficiency and minimize weed growth.  Drip and sprinkler irrigation are two types of micro irrigation systems.

Drip Irrigation

Farmers and landscape owners use drip irrigation for the conservation of water and prevent losses. Drip irrigation involves supplying the water near the roots of plants using hoses. Spraying the water near the roots of plants allow them to absorb the water and minimize the losses of evaporation. It also helps in reducing the growth of weeds in the fields.

Sprinkler irrigation


Sprinkler irrigation is a method of irrigation that works in a way opposite to drip irrigation. In sprinkler irrigation, there are sprinklers that spray water on the top of the plants. There are a variety of sprinklers that enables landscape owners to use them anywhere.

However, it leads to loss of water in windy areas as a percentage of water is lost in evaporation before it reaches the roots. Sprinkler irrigation is not efficient for use in windy areas. It is suitable for watering of lawns and golf courses.

Micro-sprinkler systems

They are a subtype of sprinkler systems with the only difference in the types of sprinklers. They use micro sprinklers that spray a fine mist on the plants that achieve the highest efficiency among all micro irrigation systems. These systems are most suitable to use in the areas with low availability of water. However, micro sprinkler systems are not useful in the areas that experience a high flow of winds. Farmers and landscape owners can use them in low evaporation areas.

Center Pivot irrigation

The center pivot irrigation involves a single pipeline with a structure of sprinklers. The pipeline moves on the wheels in a circular path around a center point. A pivot is set at the center of the area that needs irrigation, and the length of the pipeline is set to cover the entire area in a circular movement. The method is feasible only in the regions that can be covered in a circular movement.

Lateral move irrigation


The lateral irrigation is similar to the center pivot with the only difference that the network of pipeline and sprinklers move in a straight line instead of circular motion. The entire system moves manually or with the help of an inbuilt mechanism. After covering a certain distance in a field, the system needs to be reconnected to a hose for supply of water. Lateral move irrigation systems are cost-effective but required more labor.

Permanent irrigation systems

These are the permanent systems that have a network of pipes under the ground and have sprinklers above the ground that water the crops evenly. Permanent irrigation systems are suitable for dry areas that need consistent and uniform watering.

Every irrigation system requires a piece of specific equipment to supply water consistently. These irrigation systems are connected to pumps that supply the water through a resource. The ONGA pumps Perth are energy efficient and can be used for a consistent supply of water with most irrigation systems.

Final words

These are the types of irrigation systems used for watering of plants. Farmers use them for agriculture, and landscape owners use them for watering the landscapes of any kind. The conventional methods were not efficient and require large amounts of water and also more labour.

The modern irrigation systems like drip irrigation and micro sprinkler systems can help conserve water and reduce energy costs. These systems have enabled the farmers, landscape owners, and countries to save water for the future and produce higher yields of crops.