Lift irrigation - Methods and practices: A manual by Mihir Maitra (AFPRO)

This book was published by AFPRO in order to provide guidance to technical staff members of grassroots organisations working in rural development, particularly in the field of agriculture.

Accordingly, the book is written as a technical manual that remains accessible to people seeking to gain necessary expertise in the planning, design, installation and maintenance of lift irrigation systems (LIS). Cover page of Lift irrigation: methods and practices

The book is divided into the following chapters:

Lift Irrigation: 

This chapter provides an overview of lift irrigation systems, the data required for planning such a system, the procedure of collecting this data, and the process of designing a LIS.

Development of water sources: 

Various sources of water are compared and discussed. These are classified as ground water and surface water. Design parameters such as calculating the yield of a well (bore well or tube well), estimation of run-off, construction of an intake structure are discussed. The quality of irrigation water is also detailed.

Water requirement of crop: 

The basics of the water requirement of crops-function of water, requirement, seasons, soil, common irrigation practices- are covered in the initial part of the chapter before it moves on to methods of irrigation and estimation of water requirements. Evapo-transpiration, irrigation frequency and period are also covered in this chapter.

Pumping of water: 

This chapter talks about the science of pumping including the definition of various terms, determination of various losses, and the efficiency of pumps.

Irrigation pumps:

This chapter builds on the previous discussion about pumping by detailing the various types of pumps available. Centrifugal pumps are dealt with in some detail.

Selection of irrigation pumps: 

Continuing with the discussion on the various types of pumps, this chapter details the various criteria that decide the selection of one type of pump over another. Pump performance, operating characteristics, design characteristics, specific speed, operating conditions, system head, and type of pump are all explained. This chapter is invaluable for anyone seeking to design a water supply system that depends on pumping.

Selection of pipes and fittings:

After pumps the other main components of a LIS are the accompanying pipes and fittings. Here too, this chapter gives an exhaustive coverage of selection criteria and types of pipes. Working pressure, water hammer, friction internal and external pressure, ambient temperature, ground conditions, water quality, discharge requirement, and availability are all explained in order to let the user make an informed selection of pipes. The various types of pipes discussed are vitrified clay, asbestos cement, cement concrete, PVC. HDP, RPVC, CI, steel, GI and aluminium. In addition, the various valves required as part of a irrigation system are also discussed.

Installation, maintenance and operation of pumping system:

Here installation of the pump and pipes, trouble shooting of the pump, diameters of the suction and delivery pipe are considered.

Economics of lift irrigation:

This chapter looks at the costs of a lift irrigation system including capital, fixed and variable costs. In addition, profitability, benefit-cost analysis and break-even analysis are explained. 

In addition to the information listed above, the book contains a large number of tables that offer information relevant to designing a lift irrigation system. Several design examples and calculations are also worked out as examples for the reader. These make the book a valuable reference guide for people working in the water sector.

We are grateful to AFPRO and Mr. Maitra for generously giving us permission to make this book available in the public domain.

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