Submitted to: Encyclopedia of Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/31/2001
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary: The objective of irrigation is to apply the required amount of water at the correct time with the best possible distribution. These objectives are met to varying degrees depending on the selected systems. This paper describes the coefficients used to evaluate irrigation in general terms and discusses the major irrigation systems in this context. The measures discussed include, irrigation efficiency, application efficiency, distribution uniformity, and Christensen's Uniformity Coefficient. The major systems discussed include, surface irrigation, sprinkler irrigation, micro-irrigation, and subsurface irrigation. This paper is part of an on line encyclopedia that has individual chapters that provide more detail on each of the above topics.
Technical Abstract: This is general discussion about the operation of irrigation systems with the emphasis on a basic unde3rstanding of how irrigation system operation is evaluated. Each of the major types of irrigation systems is discussed in the context of the objective of irrigation, to apply the correct amount of water uniformly across a field. The systems discussed include; surface, sprinkler, micro-irrigation, and subsurface.