Following the climate change and the lack of access to water farmers in some areas face, it is essential that an alternate source of water be provided. Irrigation more often than not is the source that is employed to ensure that the crops get the desired amount of water needed for growth and sustenance. This process involves the application of controlled amounts of water to plants at needed intervals. This helps to create a controlled environment where these crops can grow and get the required nutrients. Apart from helping in the growth of crops, irrigation also nourishes disturbed soils in dry areas. Irrigation has been a central feature of agriculture for over 5,000 years and is the product of many cultures.

Historically, it was the basis for economies and societies across the globe, from Asia; China, Korea, to the Southwestern United States. Adequate irrigation will influence the entire growth process from seedbed preparation, germination, root growth, nutrient utilization, plant growth and re-growth, yield, and quality. With the limited access to water supply owing to dwindling water levels in several areas, it is quite understandable that irrigation systems are the best alternative source of water as opposed to manually watering plots and acres of land. Not only is this archaic but also a waste of time and energy. There are many types of irrigation systems, in which water is supplied to the entire field uniformly. Irrigation water can come from groundwater, through springs or wells, surface water, through rivers, lakes, or reservoirs, or even other sources, such as treated wastewater or desalinated water. To get a sound irrigation system that works for the farm, it is advisable to consider the water distribution required on the land. Some common types of systems include; surface irrigation, drip irrigation, sprinkler irrigation, central pivot irrigation, sub-irrigation, and manual irrigation. Of these irrigation systems, drip irrigation is the most effective. This is mainly because this method saves water by delivering it drop-by-drop.

The water is supplied directly to the root zone of cultivated plants and regulated in small portions using a dispenser-dropper. The system allows significant utilization of water, as well as fertilizer. It diminishes the labor costs, shortens energy usage, and length of pipelines. In looking for the right type of irrigation system, strict consideration must be put on the damaging effect too much water at a time can have. The porous nature of the soil has to be carefully studied to avoid flooding and erosion from the system chosen. As with any groundwater removal, users of irrigation water need to be careful in not pumping groundwater out of an aquifer faster than it is being recharged. This is one of the reasons why drip irrigation is most recommended for farmers. It is an ecologically friendly method that conserves the soil nutrients and complex microorganism system from erosion processes.

With more farmers relying on irrigation as the alternate source of water, it is a good sign for agriculture as this would ensure utilization of the available land with the provision of the necessary nutrients needed for growth. It would also help the farmers be more flexible in their systems/operations due to the availability of water at times when it would otherwise be hard to achieve good plant growth (due to a deficit in soil moisture). Producers can then achieve higher yields and meet market/seasonal demands primarily if rainfall events do not occur. It also helps the farmers to save cost and obtain more significant returns. The cost benefits from the more effective use of fertilizers and more enormous financial benefits as a result of more productive agricultural productivity (both quality and quantity) and for ‘out of season’ production are likely. Irrigation also allows farmers to open up areas of their farms where it would otherwise be ‘too dry’ to grow pasture/crops. This also gives them the capability to carry more stock or to conserve more feed.