India is a land of many rivers, lakes, lagoons, and ponds. Water resources in India account for 4% of the world’s water resources.
Water Resources and Irrigation in India
In India, water is mainly used for drinking, irrigation, household, and industrial purposes. Currently, about 92% of water is used for agricultural purposes, 2% in industries, and the remaining 6% is used for drinking and household purposes.
The process of watering agricultural plants through artificial means such as tanks, wells, and canals is known as irrigation. Agriculture in India is largely dependent on rainfall to sustain crop production. To reduce the dependence of agriculture on rainfall, many tanks, wells, and canals have been laid. Several multipurpose dams have also been constructed.
Reasons behind the building artificial means of irrigation
Emphasis has been laid on building artificial means of irrigation because of the following reasons:
Uncertainty and Uneven Distribution of Rainfall:
In India, rainfall is highly irregular and uncertain. At times, the monsoon arrives early, and sometimes, it comes too late. It also does not rain uniformly in all parts of the country. In such a situation, farmers cannot totally depend on the rainfall, and they, therefore, need other water sources to irrigate their fields.
Nature of Soil: Some soils require more water, while some require less. For example, clayey soil has a high moisture-holding capacity and hence does not need intensive irrigation, while sandy loamy soil needs extensive watering.
Nature of River: Many rivers in India are not perennial. Most of the rivers in central and south India have water only for four months during the monsoon. Thus, an extensive irrigation system is required.
To Maximize Production: As the population of the country has increased manifold, the production of crops also needs to be enhanced to meet the demands of the people. Hence, advanced and reliable methods of irrigation are required.
Also, Read 3 Modern Methods of Irrigation