1.2.2  Irrigation

About 70% of water used globally is in irrigation. In Ethiopia, the total area under irrigation is increasing and irrigation channels like the one shown in Figure 1.1 can be seen in some parts of the country. Spray irrigation, where pressurised water is sprayed over plants to feed them, is often used on large farms (Figure 1.2), but greater efficiency of water use can be achieved by drip-feed irrigation systems (Figure 1.3). In drip-feed irrigation, water is fed to the roots of plants through narrow pipes dripping water onto the soil surface near the base of the plant. This takes the water directly to the growing crops and reduces losses by evaporation.

Figure 1.1  An irrigation channel in Ethiopia.
Figure 1.2  Spray irrigation in a sugar cane plantation in the Finchaa Valley, Oromia Region.
Figure 1.3  A drip-feed irrigation system. Black plastic pipes run alongside the small plants, providing each of them with water.

1.2.1  Domestic use

1.2.3  Industrial use