In India, well irrigation is generally practised in Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Punjab, Haryana, Bihar, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
A well is a small hole dug in the surface of the Earth to obtain water from subsoil for irrigational and other purposes. It is a traditional method of irrigation. Wells are usually found in regions having a high groundwater table.
- Well irrigation is generally found in the alluvial plains where they can be easily dug because of the soft nature of the soil.
- In India, well irrigation is generally practised in Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Punjab, Haryana, Bihar, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Methods of Water Lifting from the Well
Persian Wheel Method: It is a water-lifting device that has a partly submerged vertical wheel with buckets attached to the rim. Animals such as buffaloes and camels are used to rotate the wheel. As they rotate the wheel, the buckets are filled, and water is then emptied into a trough above which carries water to fields.
Lever Method: It is an economical and efficient method of lifting water from wells. It is widely practiced in Bihar and Andhra Pradesh.
Inclined Plane Method: This method is also known as mhote. In this method, a pair of bullocks are used to lift water from wells.
Table Wells: In this method, power-driven pumps are used to lift water from tube wells from depths below 15 m.
Advantages of Well Irrigation
- They can be dug at very low costs and hence can be used even by poor farmers.
- Oxen which are used for ploughing the land can also be used for drawing water from wells.
- Pumps and tube wells can be used for lifting water from great depths.
Disadvantages of Well Irrigation
- It is difficult to dig wells in the hilly regions of the north and stony areas of the peninsula.
- Wells can dry up because of the lowering of the water table.
- Use of electricity and diesel to operate tube wells makes irrigating fields expensive.
Major Drawbacks of Conventional Methods of Irrigation
- In the agricultural fields, about 10–15% of land is used for preparing water channels, decreasing the effective area of cultivation.
- In tanks and canals, owing to the evaporation of water, the soil may silt.
- The fields in the low-lying areas always get excess water resulting in waterlogging and subsequently the accumulation of salt which damages the quality of soil.
- In the conventional system of irrigation, a large quantity of water is not properly used and gets wasted.
Also, Read 3 Modern Methods of Irrigation