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close this bookIndigenous technology knowledge for watershed management in upper north-west Himalayas of India (1998)
close this folderChapter 2 - Soil and water management techniques
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentSources of irrigation water
View the documentConstruction of kuhls (water channels)
View the documentDistribution of kuhl water in fields
View the documentUse of kuhl water for running water mills
View the documentMethods of irrigation
View the documentWater harvesting methods
View the documentMoisture conservation through mulching
View the documentDrainage
View the documentUse of smoke for protecting fruit crops from frost damage
View the documentSoil management
View the documentSoil fertility management
View the documentUse of ash in Ladakh

Sources of irrigation water

In the hill region, the scope of boring tubewells, canals and even lift irrigation is limited, such facilities are confined to the low laying areas. Therefore, the most common source of irrigation remains the small water channels locally called Kuhls which intact accounts for 85.83 per cent of the total area under irrigation in hills (Fig. 2.1).


Fig. 2.1 Well planned Kuhl irrigation water distribution system

In cold deserts, some villages get water for irrigating their lands from some perennial torrents. In Spiti valley, the source of irrigation water is generally local nallas. Glacial water in cold deserts of Himachal Pradesh which forms the prime source of sustaining life in the region is brought to the field by making Kuhls (Water Channels).

In Kinnaur and other regions, the source of irrigation as well as drinking water is melting snow on the high peaks which runs downward in the shape of small and big nallahas (streams) and also spring out at certain points.