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.docx   CANAL IRRIGATION 23.docx (Size: 76.08 KB / Downloads: 265)

An irrigation canal system consists of canals of different sizes and capacities (Fig. 5.1).
Accordingly, the canals are also classified as: (i) main canal, (ii) branch canal, (iii) major
distributary, (iv) minor distributary, and (v) watercourse.

An irrigation canal system consists of canals of different sizes and capacities (Fig. 5.1).
Accordingly, the canals are also classified as: (i) main canal, (ii) branch canal, (iii) major
distributary, (iv) minor distributary, and (v) watercourse.

Layout of an irrigation canal network
The main canal takes its supplies directly from the river through the head regulator
and acts as a feeder canal supplying water to branch canals and major distributaries. Usually,
direct irrigation is not carried out from the main canal.
Branch canals (also called ‘branches’) take their supplies from the main canal. Branch
canals generally carry a discharge higher than 5 m3/s and act as feeder canals for major and
minor distributaries. Large branches are rarely used for direct irrigation. However, outlets
are provided on smaller branches for direct irrigation.

Gross command area (or GCA) is the total area which can be economically irrigated from an
irrigation system without considering the limitation on the quantity of available water. It
includes the area which is, otherwise, uncultivable. For example, ponds and residential areas
are uncultivable areas of gross command area. An irrigation canal system lies in a doab (i.e.,
the area between two drainages), and can economically irrigate the doab. It is, obviously,
uneconomical to use the irrigation system to irrigate across the two drainages. Thus, the
boundaries of the gross command of an irrigation canal system is fixed by the drainages on
either side of the irrigation canal system.

Planning of an irrigation canal project includes the determination of: (i) canal alignment, and
(ii) the water demand. The first step in the planning of an irrigation canal project is to carry
out a preliminary survey to establish the feasibility or otherwise of a proposal.

Desirable locations for irrigation canals on any gravity project, their cross-sectional designs
and construction costs are governed mainly by topographic and geologic conditions along
different routes of the cultivable lands. Main canals must convey water to the higher elevations
of the cultivable area. Branch canals and distributaries convey water to different parts of the
irrigable areas.

Channel irrigation is the most important form of irrigation in India. It's cheaper. It is of great advantage in the regions of the river valley. In canal irrigation, U.P. is first found in India, followed by Punjab and Haryana. Watering the canal is very useful in the river deltas, the Godavari, the Krishna, the Kaveri, the Mahanadi and the Ganges and on the coastal plains of Kerala.

The role of canal irrigation for the modernization of irrigation in India is great. Modern canal irrigation is now conducted, controlled and administered as part and parcel of river valley projects.

They are planned to serve dual purpose effectively. They provide irrigation facilities and control flooding. Many of these river valley projects are called multipurpose projects because they serve multiple benefits such as flood control, irrigation and power generation, etc.

Flood channels are drawn from rivers. These canals do not have any type of landfill in their head to regulate the flow of river water. During the rainy season, the river floods and flood water overflows in these channels. Many such channels are found in the plains of Sutlej-Ganga and the Brahmaputra valley. These channels constitute a simple system of drainage of water of flood. The supply of irrigation water through the flood channel depends on the rain. In addition, irrigation is limited to land located at a lower level than the river valleys. In addition, during the winter these channels are practically useless. In modern India, attempts are being made to convert them into perennial channels with the help of river valley projects.

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