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Irrigation and Water Management

Irrigation and Water Management








Efficient irrigation systems combined with effective irrigation water management to achieve production and conservation goals.

How it works

Irrigation systems are designed to apply water uniformly to a wide variety of crops under a wide range of conditions. Associated irrigation water management plans are developed for effective and efficient system operation throughout the irrigation season.

How it helps

  • Improves crop production and quality
  • Improves control and efficiency of water use, especially when water supplies are limited
  • Lowers energy requirements for pumps
  • Reduces soil erosion on irrigated fields
  • Improves control of water
  • Reduces standing water
  • Increases income and/or lowers production costs

Planning ahead

  • What type of irrigation system is best for the operation, soils, and field layout?
  • What crops are gown and what are their water requirements?
  • Is an energy source available if pumping is required, and what are the associated energy costs?
  • How much labor is available for irrigation system operation?
  • What is the water supply, and is it sufficient?
  • How can the irrigation system and your water be best managed within your farming or ranching operation?

Technical notes

  • Design the irrigation system to meet operational goals.
  • Identify any limiting factors, such as water supply, soil depth and slope, system cost, and operational costs.
  • Consider alternative irrigation systems and layouts and select the best fit for the operation.
  • Develop a workable irrigation water management plan to assure effective system operation.


  • Manage the system to assure that irrigated crops receive the right amount of water at the right time.
  • Monitor the operation of the irrigation system to assure that it is performing as designed.
  • Repair/replace components that become worn or defective.