- Water is a very important natural resource.
- It is necessary for both crops and livest
Uses of water in the farm;
- Cleaning equipment.
- Irrigation in dry areas.
- Processing farm produce, for example, co
- Drinking by livestock and m
- Mixing agro-chemicals such as acaricide, fungicides and herbicides.
- Providing power in water mills to grind grain crop
- Cooling engines.
- Construction work.
Sources of Water in the Farm
Three major sources of water in the farm:
Includes water from;
- Ground water:
Includes water from;
This is water tapped in various ways such as;
- Rock surface, when it is raining and stored in various ways.
Collection and Storage of Water
- These are structures constructed across rivers and channel
- They collect and store water for use during the dry season.
- These are structures constructed across rivers to raise the water level for easy pump
- Unlike in the dams water flows over the barrier created across the river.
- These are structures made of concrete, stone, metal sheets and plastics.
- They store water from rain or that which has been pumped from other sources.
- Tanks should be covered to prevent contamination from dust.
Pumps and Pumping of Water
- Pumping is the lifting of water from one point to another by use of mechanical force.
- Water is pumped from the various sources and then conveyed to where it is required for use or storage.
Types of Water Pumps
Used to lift water from its source.
- Centrifugal pumps
- Piston or reciprocating pumps
- Semi-rotary pumps and
Conveyance of Water
- This is the process of moving water from one point, usually the source or point of storage to where it will be used or stored.
This is where water is moved through pipes.
The common types of pipes include:
- Metal pipes
- Plastic pipes
- Hose pipes
Use of Containers:
- In this case water is drawn and put in containers .
- drums, jerry cans, pots, gourds, tanks and buckets .
- Which are carried by animals, bicycles, human beings and vehic
Use of Canals:
- In this case water is conveyed from a high point to a lower one along a gradual slope to avoid soil erosion.
- Water conveyed through this way is mostly used for irrigation and livestock.
- Raw water contains impurities which may be dissolved, floating or suspended in water.
These impurities are grouped into three categories, namely:
- Physical impurities: these are dissolved impurities detected by colour, taste and smell.
- Chemical impurities: these are dissolved impurities detected by use of chemical analysis.
- Biological impurities: these are microorganisms in water such as bacteria, viruses and algae.
Importance of Treating Water
- To kill disease causing microorganisms such as cholera and typhoid bacteria that thrive in dirty water.
- To remove chemical impurities such as excess fluoride which may be harmful to human beings.
- To remove smells and bad taste.
- To remove sediments of solid particles such as soil, sand and sticks.
Methods of Treating Water
- Aeration: this is the removal of smell and odour from water by fine spraying or bubbling of air.
- Sedimentation: this is where water is put in large containers so that solid particles such as sand, metal and others can settle at the bottom.
- Filtration: this is passing water through fine granular materials to remove solid particles and biological substances.
- Coagulation: addition of chemicals which precipitate impurities and help in softening of hard water.
- Chlorination: Sterilization to destroy disease causing organisms.
- It is the artificial application of water to crops in dry areas or where water is not enough.
- It is one of the methods of land reclamation in case of arid and semi arid areas.
Factors to Consider in Identifying and Assessing the Potential of Land for Irrigation Development
- Topography of the land
- Soil type
- Type of crop to be grown
- Water availability
- Human factors such as skill, capital availability and economic activities.
Types of Irrigation
- This includes flood irrigation and basin irrigation.
- It is used in flat areas.
- The problem with this method is loss of water through seepage.
- It also increases soil salinity.
- This involves the use of porous pipes or perforated pipes.
- It is used in slopy areas and where water is inadequate.
Overhead or Sprinkler Irrigation:
- It is used in any area which is not steep.
Drip or Trickle Irrigation:
- It is used where water is little and in relatively sloppy and flat areas.
- This is a method of removing excess water or lowering the water table from a marshy water-logged land.
- It is also a method of land reclamation.
Importance of Drainage as a Method of Land Reclamation
- To increase soil aeration.
- To raise soil temperature.
- To increase microbial activities in the soil.
- To reduce toxic substances from the soil.
- To increase soil volume for exploitation by plant roots.
Methods of Drainage
- Use of open ditches.
- Use of underground drain pipes.
- French drains.
- Cambered beds.
- Pumping out water from the soil.
- Planting tree species which absorb a lot of water for example eucalyptus.
- This is the process by which harmful substances get into the water.
- The harmful substance is referred to as a pollutant.
Agricultural practices which pollute water include:
- Use of inorganic fertilizers.
- Use of pesticides.
- Poor cultivation practices such as over cultivation, cultivating along the river banks.
- Overgrazing which leads to erosion of soil thus causing siltation in water sources.
Methods of Preventing Water Pollution
- Soil conservation measures which minimize soil losses through erosion
- Fencing off the water sour
- Adopting organic farming practices for example controlling pests and weed using non-chemical techniques.
- Planting grass along river banks to minimize siltation in rivers.
- Proper disposal of empty chemical containers.