Importance of Irrigation Engineering
Irrigation involves artificially providing crops with water. This technique is used in farming to enable plants to grow when there is not enough rain, particularly in arid areas. It is also used in less arid regions to provide plants with the water they need when seed setting. About 66% of the world's water catchment is used in farming, which continues to make increasing use of irrigation. But in most irrigation systems 50 to 60% of the water used does not benefit the plants. It is therefore necessary to set up more carefully designed irrigation schemes that ensure optimum agricultural production while preserving this resource.
The choice of irrigation method depends on the type of crop and economic context. For small areas a network of open channels providing water by gravity remains the least costly and simplest solution. More sophisticated modem techniques can reduce water consumption: drip irrigation delivers the water at the plants' roots and sprinkler irrigation sprays it over the crop.