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Irrigation and Water Distribution - Research Paper Example

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Irrigation, simply defined, is the application of water to land for agricultural and related land use. In addition to being the world's largest user of water (Ward and Pulido-Velazquez), it imposes arguably the greatest level of necessity on water-deficient areas, globally.
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Download file to see previous pages Water conservation is a general reference to methods or procedures applied for the purpose of achieving a reduction in water usage or consumption. Around the world, there are a wide variety of methods associated with water conservation, for an equally wide variety of purposes. Regardless of diversity in technique, there is a primary objective common to all the methods- the use of less water while achieving irrigation's necessary end. Needless to say, the interplay between the reduction in water consumption and achievement of viable irrigation introduces the question of water use efficiency.
In irrigation, water reuse and recycling become crucial considering the heavy use of the resource (water), and indeed its wastage. The FAO Corporate Document Repository states in a report that "40% or more of the water diverted for irrigation is wasted at the farm level through either deep percolation or surface runoff." Moreover, "water conservation has been found to be a cost-effective way to meet increased water demands. Conserving water by consuming less, wasting less or reusing more reduces cost and postpones or eliminates the need for expensive and environmentally damaging new dams or similar water supply projects." (Texas Water Matters).
For centuries, water reuse and recycle have been an integral part of the techniques applied to the irrigation of land, for effective ecosystem management (Noah). Without doubt, it is not totally devoid of drawbacks, in an environmental context. However, as a result of its relatively natural mode of application, it has (and is) successfully been used in many places around the world to achieve environment-friendly irrigation.
Rain Harvesting and Water Conservation- Usefulness And Applicability in Irrigation:
The interconnected nature of the entire ecosystem and the hydrological cycle ensures that ensures that irrigation does not function in isolation. For this crucial reason, water conservation as applied to irrigation, assumes greater relevance regarding the availability of water for other uses. A vital approach is that the end-use of water needs to feature more prominently in the methodology considerations of irrigating land. For instance, gray water usage- an aspect of water conservation- basic as it may be, surprisingly encapsulates the is water-efficiency philosophy. One of water conservation's crudest forms, gray water use is generally believed to be unsuitable for irrigating certain types of ground or plants- on account of its high acidic or chemical content- and in certain places (such as California) is restricted by legislation as applicable only to non-edible plants (Alyce). However, the author notes, it finds reasonable applicability, being useful in the "subsurface irrigation of non-edible plants." Conservation, in such a case, has successfully helped avoid a situation of wastage or inefficiency through a proper recognition of end use, even in this most basic or crude mode of irrigation.
Other aspects of water conservation also appear to be naturally inclined to efficiency, particularly with the end use of water properly defined. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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