Surface irrigation, also known as gravity irrigation, is possibly the oldest method of irrigation in the world. This method involves the use of gravity to allow water to flow over the soil, covering it entirely or partially, allowing for infiltration during movement
and after damming, and it is best suited for flat and relatively levelled lands with a good permeability and water-holding capacity.
This irrigation method is still widely used all over the world, particularly in countries where rice production is the main agricultural activity, such as India, China, Pakistan, and Japan. This is a simple method that requires minimal technology, which makes it a
popular choice among farmers, particularly those in developing countries where resources and technology may be limited. In the United States, it is also a very common practice of irrigation used by farmers, due to the little technology employed and the
low investment and operating costs.
As mentioned above, surface irrigation is particularly suitable for flat or gently sloping land and for crops that are not sensitive to waterlogging. It is also a good option for farmers who have a limited water supply, as it allows the water to be distributed evenly
across the field and it can be easily controlled. Despite its simplicity, surface irrigation has several advantages, such as its low cost, easy operation and maintenance, and high irrigation efficiency. Furthermore, it also allows farmers to control the irrigation process and adjust it according to the specific needs of the crop. However, surface irrigation also has some limitations, such as its dependence on the weather, and its susceptibility to soil erosion and runoff. As a result, it is important for farmers to carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of surface irrigation and choose the method that best suits their farm’s specific requirements.