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Chapter 15: Irrigation Principles

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Pages 351-373 (doi:10.13031/swce.2013.15) in Soil and Water Conservation Engineering, 7th Edition . Copyright 2013 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Mich.
Authors:   Rodney L. Huffman, Delmar D. Fangmeier, William J. Elliot, Stephen R. Workman
Keywords:   Soil, water, conservation, environment, Irrigation Principles, Plant Water Needs, 15.1 Crop Water Requirements, 15.2 Effective Rainfall, Soils and Salinity, 15.3 The Soil Water Reservoir, 15.4 Salinity, 15.5 Leaching, Irrigation Management, 15.6 Irr

Introductory paragraphs: Human dependence upon irrigation can be traced to prehistoric times. Irrigation in very early times was practiced in Egypt, Asia, and the Americas. For the most part, water supplies were available to these people only during periods of heavy runoff. Modern practices of irrigation have been made possible by deep well pumps and by the storage of large quantities of water in reservoirs. Thus, by using either underground or surface reservoirs, it is now possible to bridge over dry periods and provide consistent water supplies.

Increasing demands for water, limited availability, and concerns about water quality, make effective use of water essential. Because irrigation is a major water user, it is essential that irrigation systems be planned, designed, and operated efficiently. This requires a thorough understanding of the relationships among crops, soils, water supply, and system capabilities.

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