Irrigation in India


Irrigation is an age-old practice and in fact as old as man's first attempt at crop growing. The beginning of agriculture revolutionised the way of living of primitive man who was till then dependent only on hunting and food gathering. Agriculture heralded the era. of development of human civilization. Early agriculture involving mainly food production changed slowly to modern agriculture through a continuous evolution of agricultural technologies. This transformation gave a strong structural and economic base to the human society for its existence and progress. Irrigation has dictated and decided largely the pace and the process of agricultural development.
  Human civilization grew up near natural water resources and there are many records of the practice of irrigation from rivers and from man-made canals, wells and tanks. Excavation of the ruins of Mohenjo-Daro of the Indus valley civilization that flourished and reached its peak in 3000 BC illustrates the existence of a network of well-designed water supply and drainage systems. The Egyptian dam on the Nile river to store water for drinking and irrigation is claimed to be 5000 years old. In many other countries like Japan, Syria, China, Java and Italy, there are references of ancient irrigation works, some of which are still in service and some others have been transformed and improved upon with advancement of technological knowledge.
  Climate, soil and water are three basic natural resources that decide the nature, scope and extent of successful crop growing. Climates decide the availability of water and the type of crops to be grown in a region, while soil serves as a storehouse of water and nutrients for plants. Water is vital for any life process and there can be no substitute for it. There is a heavy demand of water for industry, domestic work, sanitation and recreational activities, which largely affects the availability of water for agriculture. Inadequacies of rainfall in most...