What is Irrigation?
Irrigation refers the process of bringing water to a vast area of land where there is limited or no water supply. Usually these vast areas of land are planted with a variety of crops and plants that need a constant supply of water for growth and survival. Like in areas where rainfall is limited and not constant, an artificial way of directing water into parts of the plant or crop field is made to ensure that these crops and plants grow and survive.
But aside from growing crops, the process of irrigation may also be done to maintain grasslands and landscapes. In areas with very dry lands, a constant source of water supply must be in place. Irrigation systems could also be setup for re-vegetation of some areas and restore grass and other plants. Artificial water systems could also serve as protection for plants from frost during the winter season.
The concept of irrigation was said to have originated in the desert areas of the Arabian Peninsula, particularly in countries like Egypt. Since rain is very rare in these areas, people had to resort to finding other means of literally watering their crops for agriculture. It all started with people carrying buckets of water taken from the nearest river and put the water into the crop field or some storage canal. Then this technique evolved into something more efficient with the use of a lever and a wooden pole. This early machine made it easier to lift and lower the buckets for watering the crop lands. Over time, new techniques and processes were discovered like the digging of canals that flow from the water source and directed into different parts of the crop land.
Today, various systems and techniques are in place to help farmers grow their plants and/or crops efficiently despite limited or no rainfall.