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Irrigation is the artificial application of water to the land or soil. It is used to

assist in the growing of agricultural crops, maintenance of landscapes, and
revegetation of disturbed soils in dry areas and during periods of inadequate
rainfall. Additionally, irrigation also has a few other uses in crop production,
which include protecting plants against frost,[1] suppressing weed growing in
grain fields[2] and helping in preventing soil consolidation.[3] In contrast,
agriculture that relies only on direct rainfall is referred to as rain-fed or dryland
farming. Irrigation systems are also used for dust suppression, disposal of
sewage, and in mining. Irrigation is often studied together with drainage, which
is the natural or artificial removal of surface and sub-surface water from a given


Surface irrigation can be used for all types of crops. Sprinkler and drip irrigation,
because of their high capital investment per hectare, are mostly used for high
value cash crops, such as vegetables and fruit trees. They are seldom used for
the lower value staple crops.

Drip irrigation is suited to irrigating individual plants or trees or row crops such as
vegetables and sugarcane. It is not suitable for close growing crops (e.g. rice).

The Principles of Land Grading

A buffer zone is often required to ensure adequate drainage that can be aided by land
Land grading is a system for improving the drainage system surrounding a
house or other building to increase the movement of water away from the
construction. Land grading includes creating more suitable topography to
protect areas from erosion and the buildup of runoff water. Does this Spark
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1. Survey
o To complete the effective grading of land, construction sites and
other areas are usually designed by a land survey completed by an engineer.
The uses of land grading include the movement of water to help maintain the
current level of drainage to reduce surface runoff, soil erosion and
sedimentation. Land grading is often used in areas with steep slopes in the
land surrounding construction. Grading stabilizes these slopes and can
reduce the velocity of surface runoff.


o Drainage of an area through the grading of land can be
completed through the use of above or below surface drainage. Land grading
allows surface runoff to be directed through the introduction of slopes to
move water away from a building. Little maintenance is required where
slopes are built correctly. Other options, including the introduction of
subsurface drainage and percolated pipes, requires maintenance and
monitoring to ensure they do not become blocked. Runoff areas should allow
the storm water and runoff water to percolate through the subsurface as it
moves away from the building, maintaining the natural drainage of the land.

o In moving water away from a building, one of the basic principles
required in the design of graded land is a downhill slope extending at least 5
feet from a building, to allow water to drain away from the structure. Areas of
a construction that are paved, such as patios, should have a slope for
drainage that does not exceed a 2 percent fall. In other words, it shouldn't
drop more than 2 feet for every 100 feet. Where a construction site borders
another property, the drainage of water should not increase the amount of
water movement into the neighboring property. A principle of land grading is
that the movement of water into a neighboring property should not be
increased. Any improvement in drainage should attempt to decrease the
amount of runoff moved into a neighboring property.

o High-traffic areas within a property should be graded gently.
There should be no concentrated water flow through a high-traffic area. Areas
with large trees and vegetation should be protected by the grading of trees.
Land grading should protect vegetation to avoid damaging plant roots with
construction equipment.

Topographic Surveying

determining the relative locations of points (places) on the earth's surface by

measuring horizontal distances, differences in elevation and directions

topos (Gr.): place; topographic maps give the locations of places

(observable features); they serve as base maps

Use of topographic surveying in geography:

producing topographic maps
constructing topographic (cross-sectional) profiles
establishing vertical and horizontal control for accurately defining

Methodshorizontal distance

o tachymetry: a rapid optical means of measuring distance using a

telescope with cross hairs and a stadia rod (one stadium = about
607 feet)

o measuring slopes distance with a tape and reducing it to horizontal

distance using the cosine of the slope gradient

2. difference in elevation

o leveling with a level telescope and a stadia rod, or

o measuring a vertical angles and a slope distance (height is the

product of the distance and sine of the angle)

Leveling is more accurate since elevation differences are measured not

calculated. Two readings are taken at each position of the automatic level:
a backsight towards a station located before the level on the traverse
and a foresight to the next station on the traverse. Thus the stadia rod
occupies two stations, before and after the level on the survey. The
difference in elevation between successive stations if the difference
between the backsight and the foresight read from the stadia rod. For
each position of the level, the lengths of the foresights and backsights
should be approximately the same since accuracy is a function of the
distance of a sighting. The level operator should anticipate the distance to
the next station and set up the level midway along this distance (note: the
distance that can be sighted decreases with increase in slope, since the
stadia rod will disappear above or below the level line of sight). The
lengths of backsight and foresight can be paced by the rod person or

measured by the interval between the upper and lower cross hairs

3. direction

horizontal angle measured with a compass

precise measuring devices use vernier scales

direction is expressed relative to a reference line or meridian

true meridian: a north-south line

magnetic meridian: a line parallel with the earth's magnetic

lines of force

assumed meridian: an arbitrary line

Drip irrigation, also known as trickle irrigation or micro irrigation or localized

irrigation, is an irrigation method that saves water and fertilizer by allowing
water to drip slowly to the roots of plants, either onto the soil surface or directly
onto the root zone, through a network of valves, pipes, tubing, and emitters. It is
done through narrow tubes that deliver water directly to the base of the plant.
The advantages of drip irrigation are:

Fertilizer and nutrient loss is minimized due to localized application and reduced leaching.

Water application efficiency is high.

Field levelling is not necessary.

Fields with irregular shapes are easily accommodated.

Recycled non-potable water can be safely used.

Moisture within the root zone can be maintained at field capacity.

Soil type plays less important role in frequency of irrigation.

Soil erosion is minimized.

Weed growth is minimized.

Water distribution is highly uniform, controlled by output of each nozzle.

Labour cost is less than other irrigation methods.

Variation in supply can be regulated by regulating the valves and drippers.

Fertigation can easily be included with minimal waste of fertilizers.

Foliage remains dry, reducing the risk of disease.

Usually operated at lower pressure than other types of pressurised irrigation, reducing energy