Advantages and Disadvantages of Traditional Methods of Irrigation Used in Historic Times

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These are the traditional methods of irrigation that were used in the earlier years. Even today some small farms in rural areas adopt these. Although they are cheaper than the modern methods, they are not nearly as efficient. They require human or animal labour to function. Some of these methods are,

1. Moat

Also called the pulley system, it involves pulling up water from a well or other such source to irrigate the land. It is an extremely time consuming and labour intensive system, but it is very cost efficient. Also, wastage of water is avoided when using a moat system of irrigation.

2. Chain pump

A chain pump consists of two large wheels connected by a chain. There are buckets attached to the chain. One part of the chain dips into the water source. As the wheel turns, the bucket picks up water. The chain later lifts them to the upper wheel where the water gets deposited into a source. And the empty bucket gets carried back down.

3. Dhekli

It is a system of drawing water from a well or such similar source. Here we tie a rope and bucket to a pole. At the other end, we tie a heavy stick or any other object as a counterbalance. And we use this pole to draw up water.

4. Rahat

So Rahat system of irrigation uses animal labour. Above the well, we tie a large wheel. An ox or cow would turn the wheel to draw the water from the well.

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Advantages of Traditional Methods of Irrigation:

1. It is the best method of irrigation for leveled fields.

2. It does not require any technical knowledge.

3. This method is more useful in soils having lesser infiltration.

4. In this method, rain water stays in basins, hence soil erosion is not caused.

5. It has lesser economic investment.

6. It irrigates more area.

7. Crops gets sufficient water.

Disadvantages of Traditional Methods of Irrigation:

1. Due to seepage in drains, wastage of water is caused.

2. Machines cannot be used m this method because during spray of insecticides or fertilizers, the earthen walls of basins are damaged.

3. There IS imbalance in distribution of labour. After growth of crops, water reaches the basins in disproportionate quantity thereby causing wastage of water.

4. Creation of problem of water logging.