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CE408 IRRIGATION ENGINEERING

TOPICS: IRRIGATION ENGINEERING


WEEK: 6
LECTURE: 1
LEVEL: 8 T H SEMESTER
PREREQUISITES: NONE
 
COURSE TEACHER: ENGR. KHURAM SALEEM ( khurram
.civil@suit.edu.pk)
ACCESS AT: portal.suit.edu.pk
Civil Engineering Department, SUIT Peshawar
KHURAM SALEEM 1
Water Logging
An agricultural land is said to be water-logged when its productivity gets
affected by the high water table.
The productivity of the land gets affected when the root zone of the plants get
flooded with water and thus becomes ill aerated.
Ill aeration reduces crop yield.
[ill aeration explanation: the life of a plant depends upon certain nutrients
called nitrates. Nitrates are produced by bacteria under the process
nitrification. The bacteria needs oxygen for survival. These bacteria die when
the soil becomes ill aerated due to saturation of soil with water]

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Water-logged land (swampy land)

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Other outcomes of water-logging
Cultivation procedures like ploughing, tilling cant be easily carried out in wet
soils. Such wet soil land is called swampy land.
Grasses, weeds etc. are water loving plants. They start to grow in water-logged
land and thus affects and interferes with the growth of crops.
Water logging also leads to salinity
(salinity explained: the water from the water table rises to the ground surface
due to capillary action. This soil moisture brings salt from under ground with
itself and deposit it in the root zone and on the earth surface. The roots health
is severely affected by the salt deposition)

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Salt deposited in root zone Plants whose roots have salt

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Causes of Water-logging
Over and Intensive irrigation:
In intensive irrigation, maximum irrigable area of a small region is heavily
irrigated. This extreme water application and percolation results in raising of water
table.
Extensive irrigation should be done, in which optimum water is applied to a larger
area and some cultivable land is allowed to be fallow, to avoid creating swampy
land. (recall the concept of intensity of irrigation from past 4A slides)
Seepage of Water from the Adjoining High Lands:
Water from the adjoining high lands may seep into the subsoil of the low lying
areas and raise the water table there.

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Seepage of Water through the Canals:
Water may seep through the beds and sides of the adjoining canals, reservoirs and
rivers etc.
Impervious Obstruction:
Water seeping below the soil moves horizontally (ie laterally) and may find an
impervious obstruction thereby raising the water table.
Inadequate Natural Drainage:
Soils having less permeable sub-stratum (clay etc. ) below the top layers of pervious
soil, will not be able to drain the water deep into the ground and thus raise the water
table.

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Inadequate Surface Drainage:
Storm water falling over the land and the excess irrigation water should be
removed and should not be allowed to percolate below. If proper drainage is
not provided, the water will constantly percolate and will raise the water table.
Excessive Rains:
Excessive rainfall may create temporary water logging and in the absence of
good drainage it may cause permanent water logging.

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Submergence due to Floods:
If a land continuously remains submerged by floods, water loving plants like
grasses, weeds etc. may grow, which obstruct the natural surface drainage of
the soil thus increasing the chances of the water logging.
Irregular or Flat Topography:
In steep terrain, the water is drained out quickly. On flat or irregular terrain
having depressions etc. the drainage is very poor.
All these factors lead to greater detention of water in the land causing more
percolation and raised water table.

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Water-logging Control
Water logging can be controlled if irrigation water is efficiently used and
transported and rain water is properly disposed off. Various methods adopted in
this regard are as follow:
Lining of Canals and Water Courses:
Attempts should be made to reduce the seepage of water from the canals and
water courses. This can be achieved by lining them.
Reducing the intensity of Irrigation:
Those areas that are low lying or in flood zones and thus exposed to water
logging. The intensity of irrigation should be reduced in such areas.

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Only a small portion of the irrigable land should receive canal water in one
particular season. The rest of the irrigable land should receive water in next
season on rotation.
By Introducing Crop rotation:
Certain crops require more water and some less. Repeatedly sowing crops
that require more water is naturally going to expose the land to prolonged
excessive irrigation and ultimately causing water logging.
Rice – Wheat – Cotton is a good cycle.

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By Optimum Use of Water :
It’s a known fact that only a certain fixed amount of irrigation water gives
productivity. Less than that or more than that reduces the yield . But most of our
farmers are unaware of it. They use more and more water in the hope that its
going to increase productivity.
By providing Intercepting Drains:
Intercepting drains along the canals should be constructed, where necessary.
These drains check seepage from the canals and prevents its spreading to the
near areas that are susceptible to getting water-logged.

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Provision of an Efficient Drainage System:
Good drain network should be provided to expel the storm water and the excess
irrigation water.
By improving the natural drainage of an area:
Bushes, jungles, forests and flat slopes hinder the flow of water and thus
facilitates water to stand on the topography for a longer time. They should be
removed and land slope should be given along the drainage lines.

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By using Ground water :
Lift irrigation should be relied upon and ground water should be extracted for
irrigation purpose. It certainly will lower the water table.

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Reclaimation of Saline and Alkaline
Land
Land reclamation is a process by which an unculturable land is made fit for
cultivation. Saline and water logged lands give very less crop yields and are
almost unfit for cultivation unless they are reclaimed.
Saline Land:
Every agricultural soil contains certain mineral salts in it. Some of them are
beneficial and act as plant food while certain other salts are injurious to plant
growth.
They are called Alkali Salts eg. Na₂CO₃ , Na₂SO₄ , NaCl, Na₂CO₃ (Black Alakali) etc.
Na₂CO₃ is the most harmful and NaCl is the least harmful.

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Saline Lands

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These salts are soluble in water. If the water table rises up, the alkali salts also
move up with water and get deposited in the soil within the plant roots and as
well as on the surface of the land. This phenomenon of salts coming up in
solution and forming a thin (5 to 7.5 cm) crust on the surface after the
evaporation of water is called efflorescence. Land affected by efflorescence is
called Saline Land.
The salty water surrounding the roots of the plant reduces osmotic activity of
the plant.

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Reclaimation Procedure
Efflorescence can be avoided if the water table is maintained sufficiently (about
3 m) below the roots so that the salts along with water couldn’t rise even
through capillary action.
Hence all those actions that were suggested to avoid water-logging holds good
for preventing salinity too.
An efficient drainage system consisting of surface drains as well as sub-surface
drains must be provided in order to control and lower the water table in saline
lands. After the water table is lowered in saline lands through suitable drainage,
the soil is freed from existing salts by a process called Leaching.

KHURAM SALEEM 18
Leaching
The land is first flooded with adequate depth of water. The alkali salts present in
the soil get dissolved in this water which percolate down to join the water table or
drained away by surface and sub-surface drains.
The process is repeated till the salts in the top layer of the land is reduced to a
considerable extent. Next then some salt resistant crop is grown.
The process is called leaching.
Soil resistant crops are fodder, bajra, berseem etc. They are grown on such land for
two seasons to remove the salt from the soil completely.
They are then followed by normal crops like wheat, cotton, citrus. Land is then said
to have been reclaimed.

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Berseem, Bajra, Fodder

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Leaching Requirement (L.R) of soil
Saline land is treated with water in excess of the consumptive use of the crop
standing on the affected land. (Cᵤ = water required for the nourishment of the crop).
This excess water washes the extra salt deposited in the root zone and the salt water
is then collected and disposed off by an underground drainage system.
The excess water which is required to meet the leaching needs is generally
expressed as the percentage of the total irrigation water applied to the soil to meet
the Cᵤ of the crop in field.

L . R = Dd = Depth of Water drained out per unit area = Dd .


Dᵢ Depth of Irrigation water applied per unit area D d + Cᵤ

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L . R = Dd = EC ᵢ
Dᵢ ECd
ECᵢ = Electrical Conductivity of irrigation water
ECd = Electrical Conductivity of drained water

Electrical Conductivity is the measure of salt content in a given water sample.

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Question
Estimate the Leaching Requirement when EC of saturated soil extract is 10 m
mho/cm at 25% reduction in the yield of a crop. The EC of irrigation water is 1.2
m mho/cm. What will be the required depth of water to be applied to the field if
the Consumptive use requirement of the crop is 80 mm. EC of leaching water
should be suitably assumed.
Solution:
What is mho?
It is unit of conductance. It is ohm written in backwards. Ohm is unit of
resistance. mho (conductance) is reciprocal of ohm (resistance).

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Solution
ECₑ = EC value of saturated soil extract = 10 milli mho/cm
ECᵢ = EC value of irrigation water = 1.2 milli mho/cm
Cᵤ = Consumptive use = 80 mm
L . R = Dd = EC ᵢ
Dᵢ ECd
ECd = EC value of drained water (leaching water) = twice of ECₑ = 2 x 10 = 20 milli
mho/cm ------- (assumed value)
L . R = EC ᵢ = 1.2 = 0.06 = 6 %
ECd 20

KHURAM SALEEM 24
L . R = Dd = Depth of Water drained out per unit area = Dd .
Dᵢ Depth of Irrigation water applied per unit area Dd + Cᵤ
it can be written as
L . R = Dd = Dᵢ - Cᵤ . [ as Dᵢ = Dd + Cᵤ so interchangeably Dd = Dᵢ - Cᵤ ]
Dᵢ Dᵢ
6 = Dᵢ - 80 mm
Dᵢ
Dᵢ = 85.1 mm

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The end

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