Irrigation is the artificial application of water to the soil for growth of plants.
Sources of Irrigation
Water is an important determinant factor of production of crops in agriculture sector. Intensive and extensive cultivation of land depend mainly on the availability of water. Medium and minor irrigation schemes are
implemented in the state for augmenting the irrigation for agriculture. The various sources of irrigation are canals, tanks, tube wells, Open wells and springs.
The net area irrigated constituted 58.1% of the net area sown in the state. Villupuram district is at the top
with 232486 ha net area irrigated. However the highest percentage of the net area irrigated to the net area sown was recorded in Thiruvarur District with 96.4% followed by Kancheepuram District with 91.6% and
Thiruvallur with 83.9% whereas the lowest percentage was recorded in The Nilgiris district with 0.4%.
Canals(Including System Tanks)
Canals are the major source of irrigation in Tamilnadu. As the system tanks get supply from a permanent storage like reservoirs, dams etc. Canal irrigation accounted for 26.1% the net area irrigated by all sources in the state. The net area irrigated by canals is the highest in Thiruvarur district with 148913 ha (19.5%) followed by Thanjavur district with 133168 ha (17.4%) and Nagapattinam district with 130446 ha (17.0%) of the total net area irrigated by canals in the State.
Tanks (Non-System Tanks Only)
The non-system tanks which are fed partly from their independent catchment areas and partly from the diversion of river water and jungle streams depend fully on rain. The extent of area irrigated by tanks during the year is the highest in Pudukottai district with 14.0% followed by Sivagangai district with 13.0% and
Kancheepuram district with 11.5%.
Wells are the principal source of irrigation in Tamilnadu. During the year under review, open wells and tube-wells/borewells continued to be the principal source of irrigation.The net area irrigated by wells was the highest in Villupuram district with 10.7% of the total net area irrigated by the wells in the state followed by 7.2% in Thiruvannamalai district and 6.3% in Salem district.