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What are the Merits and Demerits of Irrigation?

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What are the advantages and disadvantages of irrigation?
asked Jun 1, 2012 in Civil Engineering by Engineer  

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The following are the benefits of Irrigation:

Merits of Irrigation

  1. Yield of Crops:
    In the period of low rainfall or drought the yield of crop may be increased by the irrigation system.
     
  2. Protection from famine:
    The food production of a country can be improved by ensuring the growth of crops by availing the irrigation facilities. This helps a country to prevent famine situation
     
  3. Improvement in cash crops:
    Irrigation helps to improve the cultivation of cash crops like vegetables, fruits, tobacco, etc.
     
  4. Prosperity of farmers:
    When the supply of irrigation water is assured, the farmers can grow two or more crops in a year on the same land. Thus the farmers may earn money and improve their living standard.
     
  5. Source of revenue:
    When, irrigation water is supplied to the cultivators in lieu of some taxes. it helps to earn revenue which may be spent on other development schemes.
     
  6. Hydroelectric Power generation:
    In some river valley projects, multipurpose reservoirs are formed by constructing high dams where hydroelectric power may be generated along with the irrigation system.
     
  7. Water Supply:
    The irrigation canals may be the source of water supply for domestic and industrial purposes.

Demerits of Irrigation:

  1. Rising of water table:
    Due to the excessive of water through the bed and banks of the canals, the water table in the surrounding area may be raised which may constantly saturate the root zone of the crops and the soil may develop alkaline property which is harmful to the crops.
     
  2. Formation of marshy land:
    Excessive seepage and leakage of water from the irrigation canals may lead to formation of marshy lands along the course of the canals. These marshy lands form the colonies of mosquitoes which may be responsible for diseases.
     
  3. Formation of marshy land:
    The temperature of the commanded area of an irrigation project may be lowered considerably and the area may become damp. Due to dampness, the people residing around the area may suffer from cold, cough and other such diseases originating from dampness.
     
  4. Loss of valuable lands:
    Valuable land may get submerged when the storage reservoirs are formed by constructing barrages or dams and it also may be lost, while constructing irrigation canals.
answered Jun 1, 2012 by Haseeb Jamal  
selected May 30, 2013 by Engineer

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