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I am not talking about sophisticated stuff such as central pivot, sprinkler, drip, qanat, aquifer based, etc, but more about just surface level irrigation with small channels and such. How widely spaced do the channels need to be? How would they be arranged? Would they directly come out of rivers and streams? Where would the water go in the end? Would the river itself irrigate any land just through water infiltrating through the soil?

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closed as off-topic by Vylix, MichaelK, ZioByte, Burki, Ash Oct 10 '17 at 10:35

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question does not appear to be about worldbuilding, within the scope defined in the help center." – Vylix, MichaelK, ZioByte, Burki, Ash
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ I feel like this question is being asked in the wrong place. $\endgroup$ – user32463 Oct 9 '17 at 22:58
  • $\begingroup$ It is not about gardening, but about agriculture on a medium to large scale. $\endgroup$ – Richard Smith Oct 9 '17 at 23:07
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Worldbuilding! As you're here, I'll assume that your aim is to 'build a world'. However, it's not very clear what you want/what your end goal is in detail, so you might want to edit your question to show how this is a better suit for Worldbuilding as explained in the help center, explaining what you've got so far, perhaps asking fewer questions so that we could help you out better instead of giving a very generic explanation of irrigation, which probably won't be much actual use in whatever your end goal is. $\endgroup$ – Mithrandir24601 Oct 9 '17 at 23:14
  • $\begingroup$ Too broad, I'm afraid. Irrigation works in a thousand different ways. It depends on your source of water, the terrain you want to irrigate, the kind of plants you're growing and even the social and economical structure (small familiar orchids or vast latifundiums). $\endgroup$ – Rekesoft Oct 10 '17 at 8:22
  • $\begingroup$ I think this is better asked in Gardening & Landscaping $\endgroup$ – Vylix Oct 10 '17 at 9:13
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On the island of Madeira many levadas have been built along the contours of the mountains. These collect rain on the wetter windward side of the island and channel it around to the leeward side where there is much less rain. The people pay to have wooden slats removed from the side of the levada for a certain amount of time each day/week to allow water to run out of the levada and down onto their farmland below. As you can probably guess there’s a lot of variety in how irrigation works.

lavada

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Mormons did this here. We've seen some of the (small footprint) examples of this in Utah. They did a nice job.

You can use Archimedes screw to pull well water or ground water out. I have a version of this in my low tech areas.

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  • $\begingroup$ But do you have specific numbers? $\endgroup$ – Richard Smith Oct 9 '17 at 23:09
  • $\begingroup$ The links have images with people, from which you can estimate. I did not do the maths for you, no. It will depend on your source (stream, river, well) and your usage (some fields require deep irrigation infrequently, others require shallow irrigation more frequently.) You may need to do more research to decide upon your specifics. $\endgroup$ – DPT Oct 9 '17 at 23:23

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