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Lift irrigation is a method of irrigation in which water instead of being transported by natural flow (as in gravity-fed canal systems) requires external energy through animal, fuel based or electric power using pumps or other mechanical means. Treadle pumps, although an ancient method of lifting water for small heads have recently been modernized and used in a big way


Lift irrigation schemes must accomplish two main tasks: first, to carry water by means of pumps from the water source to the main delivery chamber, which is situated at the top most point in the command area. Second, they must distribute this water to the field of the beneficiary farmers by means of a suitable and proper distribution system. The source is mainly groundwater, river streams, contour canals, ponds and lakes.

For a viable lift irrigation scheme, the requirements are constant water source should for the whole irrigation season at the site and the feasibilityto lift water to the desired location.Different capacity pumps are required depending upon the duty point head, and discharge. Therising main may be of steel, concrete or any other suitable material.Lift irrigation schemesare useful where the target land is at higher level.


The advantage of lift irrigation is the minimal land acquisition problem and lowwater losses.The lift irrigation scheme are instrumental in stabilizing agriculture production particularly in the years of droughts and increase food production as water is available whenever it is requiredand thereby increase in income level.


Lift irrigation schemes are either individually owned or owned by a group of farmers in a cooperative mode. For successful functioning the lift irrigation schemes require appropriate technique, planning, designing and execution through knowledgeable technical person. Participation of beneficiaries is quite necessary. Unplanned development of lift irrigation systems have the potential to have its adverse impact on the groundwater levels, as has been the case in many south Asian countries in the recent years. Continuous drop in groundwater table is making the cost of running and maintenance of lift irrigation schemes more costly.Cooperative lift irrigation schemes have the potential to beparticipatory in development and management. Multistage submerged pump is at the heart of any irrigation system.