Why is water needed by plants?

All living organisms require water including plants

Water helps plants roots in absorbing nutrients from manures and fertilizers

Seeds do not grow without supply of water

Water also helps in protecting crop from hot and cold air

What is irrigation

It is the process of supplying water to plants at regular intervals


Supply of Water

to plants

at regular intervals

is called irrigation




Why is irrigation done/What are benefits of irrigation?

  1.     Seeds cannot grow in dry soil Water is required by plants for germination
  2.     Water dissolve nutrients in soil so that plant can absorb it
  3.     Water is required to be added for loosening soil before ploughing


When is irrigation more required

Irrigation of crops is higher in summer due to the increase in the rate of evaporation of water from the soil and the leaves.



Source of irrigation

Water is provided from wells, tube wells, ponds, rivers, dams, canals


Different Irrigation Methods


Traditional Methods

They use manual labour or cattle to draw water from wells


  • Moat(Pulley System)
  • Chain Pump
  • Dhekli
  • Rahat




Moat(Pulley System)

Water is drawn from well with the help of animal like bullock

Animal pulls rope from one end,bucket of water comes out of well from other end


Chain Pump

It has 2 wheels connected to chain,

One wheel is on ground,other is in pond or lake

Bucket is attached to chain

When handle of upper wheel is rotated,lower wheel also turns and water is filled in bucket

This filled bucket water moves up which is used for irrigation



A wooden beam is put over a forked support

Long arm of wooden beam is towards well,short arm is away from it

Weight is tied to shorter arm

Bucket is attached to longer arm and it is pulled down in well

When it is filled with water,rope is released

Weight of stone pushes bucket up



It contains a large wheel.On Well there is a long belt which contains many metal pots

Wheel is rotated with the help of lever which is pulled by bullock cart

When wheel rotates, Lower end of belt dips in water of well metal pots get filled in water

They are drawn up ,water is emptied and the process is repeated






Use of Pumps for Irrigation

In traditional method,human labour or animals were used for lifting water for irrigation.

So,the traditional method was cheaper but less efficient.

These days pumps are used for lifting water(from wells,stream,lake,ponds and rivers).

These pumps run by electricity,solar energy,diesel and biogas.

Nowadays,tube wells are used for irrigation in agriculture.


Modern Methods

Innovative Methods are used like


Sprinkler System

It has a  pump,different perpendicular pipes and nozzle

When pump is opened,water sprinkles out from different nozzles

It is used for

  • Lawns
  • Coffee Plantation

It is mainly used in case of sandy soil or uneven land

Sprinkler System.jpg

Drip System

Water drips drop by drop to root of plant directly

There is no wastage of water in this case.

It is useful in those regions where availability of water is poor

It is used in case of watering of

  • fruits
  • trees
  • Gardens

Drip System.jpg



How does Irrigation depends on Nature of Soil and Nature of Crops

Nature of Soil

There are 2 types of soil:-
Sandy Soil
Clayey Soil
Sandy soil is highly permeable,water percolates down very fast,so plants are not able to get enough water,thus the crops cultivated in sandy soil require more water for irrigation
Clayey soil,is less permeable,it can retain water for a longer time,so enough water is available for the plants to absorb water,thus the crops cultivated in clayey soil need less water for irrigation

Nature of Crop

Every crop requires specific amount of water during various stages for its growth and ripening


Paddy crops are transplanted in standing water and require continuous irrigation.

While some crops do not require much water

Example-Gram and Cotton

Wheat crop requires water only at 3 stages

  • Before ploughing the field
  • At the time of flowering
  • At the time of development of grains





NCERT Question 6 - What is irrigation? Describe two methods of irrigation which conserve water

View Answer


NCERT Question 11 (1) - Complete the following word puzzle with the help of clues given below

Providing water to the crops

View Answer


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Maninder Singh

CA Maninder Singh is a Chartered Accountant for the past 14 years and a teacher from the past 18 years. He teaches Science, Economics, Accounting and English at Teachoo