The term irrigation efficiency expresses the performance of a complete irrigation system or components of the system. Irrigation efficiency is defined as the ratio between the amount of water used to meet the consumptive use requirement of crop plus that necessary to maintain a favourable salt balance in the crop root zone to the total volume of water diverted, stored or pumped for irrigation.
Following are the indicative values of irrigation efficiency of various irrigation methods:
Irrigation Method Irrigation Efficiency
Surface Irrigation 60%
Sprinkler Irrigation 75%
Drip Irrigation 90%
Different types of Irrigation system are as follows:
Surface irrigation is where water is applied and distributed over the soil surface by gravity. It is by far the most common form of irrigation.
Drip irrigation is a type of micro-irrigation system that has the potential to save water and nutrients by allowing water to drip slowly to the roots of plants, either from above the soil surface or buried below the surface. The goal is to place water directly into the root zone and minimize evaporation. Drip irrigation systems distribute water through a network of valves, pipes, tubing, and emitters.
Sprinkler Irrigation is a method of applying irrigation water which is similar to rainfall. Water is distributed through a system of pipes usually by pumping. It is then sprayed into the air and irrigated entire soil surface through spray heads so that it breaks up into small water drops which fall to the ground.