There are quite a few methods of irrigation that are classed as modern. These include surface irrigation, localised, drip, sprinkler, centre pivot, lateral move and sub irrigation.
In a surface irrigation system, water moves over the land in order to wet and infiltrate the soil. It is often called flood irrigation when the method results in complete or new complete flooding of the land. Historically, this has been considered the most common method of irrigation.
Localised irrigation is where water is applied under low pressure in a pre-determined pattern through a piped network.
Drip irrigation is considered to be a very modernised method of irrigation because it saves both water and fertiliser by along the water to drip slowly to the roots of the plants either directly through the root zone or onto the soil surface through a series of valves, pipes and tubing.
Sprinkler irrigation is where water is piped to one or more central locations within a field and is distributed through overhead high pressure sprinklers to reach as much land as possible. These sprinklers can also be mounted on moving platforms that are connected to the water source by a hose.
Centre pivot irrigation consists of a series of pipes each with a wheel about 1.5 metres in diameter with water being supplied through one end with a hose. Downward facing sprinklers are placed at equal length along the pipes. This is most commonly used method for small or oddly shaped fields such as those in mountainous regions.
Sub irrigation, also known as seep irrigation, is mostly used in field with high water tables. Through this method, the water table is artificially raised to allow the plants to be watered directly into their roots. A system of pumps, pipes, canals, weirs and gates allow farmers to control the water level. This method is also commonly used in greenhouses for potted plants.