Sprinkler Irrigation

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In the sprinkler method of irrigation, water is sprayed into the air and allowed to fall on the ground surface somewhat resembling rainfall. The spray is developed by the flow of water under pressure through small orifices or nozzles. The pressure is usually obtained by pumping. With careful selection of nozzle sizes, operating pressure and sprinkler spacing the amount of irrigation water required to refill the crop root zone can be applied nearly uniform at the rate to suit the infiltration rate of soil.

Advantages of   Sprinkler Irrigation

  •   Elimination of the channels for conveyance, therefore no conveyance loss.
  •   Suitable to all types of soil except heavy clay.
  •   Suitable for irrigating crops where the plant population per unit area is very high. It is most suitable for oil seeds and other cereal and vegetable crops.
  •   Water saving.
  •   Closer control of water application convenient for giving light and frequent irrigation and higher water application efficiency.
  •   Increase in yield.
  •   Mobility of system.
  •   May also be used for undulating area.
  •   Saves land as no bunds etc. are required.
  •   Influences greater conducive micro-climate.
  •   Areas located at a higher elevation than the source can be irrigated.
  •   Possibility of using soluble fertilizers and chemicals.
  •   Less problem of clogging of sprinkler nozzles due to sediment laden water Based on the portability sprinkler systems are.

Classified into the following types

  • Portable system : A portable system has portable main lines, laterals and pumping plant.
  • Semi portable system : A semi portable system is similar to a portable system except that the location of water source and pumping plant is fixed.
  • Semi permanent system : A semi permanent system has portable lateral lines, permanent main lines and sub mains and a stationery water source and pumping plant.
  • Solid set system : A solid set system has enough laterals to eliminate their movement. The laterals are positions in the field early in the crop season and remain for the season.
  • Permanent system : A fully permanent system consists of permanently laid mains, sub mains and laterals and a stationery water source and pumping.

Components of   Sprinkler Irrigation System

The components of portable sprinkler system are shown through fig .3. A sprinkler system usually consists of the following components:

  •   A pump unit.
  •   Tubings- main/submains and laterals.
  •   Couplers.
  •   Sprinker head
  •   Other accessories such as valves, bends, plugs and risers.

General rules for sprinkler system design

  •   Main should be laid up and down hill.
  •   Lateral should be laid across the slope or nearly on the contour.
  •   For multiple lateral operation, lateral pipe sizes should not be more than two diameter.
  •   Water supply source should be nearest to the center of the area.
  •   Layout should facilitate and minimize lateral movement during the season.
  •   Booster pump should be considered where small portion of field would require high pressure at the pump.
  •   Layout should be modified to apply different rates and amounts of water where soils are greatly different in the design area.

Constraints in application of sprinkler irrigation

  •   Uneven water distribution due to high winds.
  •   Evaporation loss when operating under high temperatures.
  •   Highly impermeable soils are not suitable.
  •   Initial cost is high.
  •   Proper design.
  •   Lack of Package of practices.
  •   Lack of awareness.
  •   Lack of social concern to save natural resources.
  •   High water pressure required in sprinkler (>2.5kg/cm2).
  •   Difficulty in irrigation during wind in sprinkler.

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