We all very well know that water is the elixir of human life and a sine qua non for the existence of life on this blue planet. In the world where shortage of water can act as a good reason for nations to wage a war against one another, saving water has become a priority for one and for all. Though 70% of our earth is covered with water, only a meager amount of it is fresh water which is available for drinking. As the population is growing day by day, there is bound to be a heavy shortage of water in the coming future.
A humongous amount of water, I mean one of the major sectors which leads to the wastage of fresh water is the agriculture sector. Due to the present irrigation systems being adopted, a vast majority of underground water gets wasted. As a result, the groundwater resources are getting depleted at a very heavy pace and have led to shortages of water in many places. Many places in India are facing drought like situations due to rampant and non judicious use of water resources.
There have been many advanced methods of irrigation which can effectively irrigate vast amounts of lands with a water usage of less than 30% of the traditional methods. These are known as the micro irrigation systems and some of the methods involved in this type of irrigation are sprinkler and drip irrigation. Drip irrigation is the most efficient method of irrigating the crops. In this method, water is applied near the root area on a daily basis. Water is also controlled and the required quantity of water is given to each plant on the basis of evapo-transpiration. This method has an efficiency of 92-95%.
The large scale commercial use of micro irrigation began in the 1960s and 70s in the Nagev desert of Israel, the Great basin of USA and west Asia and those areas saw a substantial increase in the crop yields per hectare besides a huge reduction in water usage by 25 to 50%.
There are many advantages of micro irrigation. They are:
- Water saving
- Enhances the plant growth and results in yield increase.
- Saves labor and energy.
- Provides economy in agricultural practices.
- Helps control the growth of weed
- It effectively increases the labor, fertilizer and insecticides efficiency.
- It is also suitable for undulating and poor soil quality.
- No soil erosion occurs.
- It effectively improves the quality of output
So, micro irrigation is very advantageous and helpful in increasing the soil productivity and per hectare output of a farm. And most of all, it helps in the reduction of water usage in a farm.