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Types of Irrigation Methods

There are seven basic techniques or methods of irrigation, most of which have several variations. Each technique and variation has characteristics that are adaptable for different locations and crops. The basic components and operation for each of the seven techniques are:

Basin

A level area of any size or shape bounded by borders or ridges retains all the applied water until it infiltrates. Any loss of water results from either deep percolation or surface evaporation.

Basin-check

A fairly level area of any size or shape bounded by borders and with no depressions which cannot be readily drained. The borders (or ridges) retain all the applied water for a sufficient time to obtain a relatively uniform depth of infiltration over the area and then the remaining water is drained off the surface and used to irrigate an adjacent border-check. Water is lost chiefly by deep percolation and evaporation1

Border strip

A sloping area, usually rectangular, is bounded by borders or ridges that guide a moving sheet of water as it flows down the bordered strip. There should be little or no slope at right angles to the direction of flow. The inflow of water is usually cut off when the advancing sheet has flowed six to nine tenths of the distance down the strip. Water is lost chiefly by deep percolation and runoff.

 
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