ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF IRRIGATION
1. Direct Benefits. These include (i) Increase in food output through higher yield to attain self-sufficiency in food, (ii) Cultivation of cash crops, (iii) With the introduction of irrigation land value appreciates manifold which makes wealthy the land holders, the State and the country, (iv) Growing of fruit trees and development of gardens, (v) Protection from famine irrigation makes agriculture to towns and villages. Important cities like Delhi, Jaipur, Bikaner and Chandigarh depend on canal water for public water supply (viii) Hydel power generation at dam site and canal falls, (ix) The rise in suboil water level in dry areas assists in meeting demands of domestic water supply by pumping the ground water, (x) Means of communication where navigation is possible in the canal. Network of canals with inspection bank/boundary roads along them improve the communication in remote command areas, (xi) Means of communication where navigation is possible in the canal. Network of canals with inspection bank/boundary roads along them improve the communication in remote command areas, (xi) Revenue from recreation facilities such as boating, fishing and swimming. (xii) Fish and wild life preservation and development of pisciculture, (xiii) Afforestation plantation is raised along the banks of canals and field boundaries, (xiv) Irrigation substantially lowers production risks and farmers are greatly encouraged to raise productivity through input intensification, (xv) Makes agriculture competitive and profitable, (xvi) Industrial and thermal plant requirements are met with from canal water, (xvii) The reduced risk of crops failures and increased food production, (xviii) Improve the nutrition of the people and cattle considerably which leads to increased resistance to diseases and hence improved health.
II. Indirect Benefits: These are (i) Increase in gross domestic product of the country, (ii) Increase in revenue from sales tax on food grains, (iii) Increase in employment. Retards migration to cities for livelihood, (iv) Improvement in groundwater storage, (v) Increased revenue to government from other departments such as custom, excise, posts and telegraph, railways, taxes on vehicles etc. (vi) Increase in value of land property (vii) General development of country, (viii) Farm laborers are benefited who get higher wages, (ix) creation of more jobs and incomes, and (x) Rise to whole array of agro- based industries.
Disadvantages: (i) Climate becomes dam and cold, causing malarial diseases, (ii) Over irrigation coupled with poor drainage in an areas where-table is high leads to water logging of the area; and causes efflorescence. Crop yield is drastically reduced as a result, (iii) Low land revenue in certain cases where irrigation is extended as a protective measure, and (iv) Excessive seepage from unlined canals leads to waterlogging of lands adjacent to canals.