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Surface irrigation

(thousand ha)

Brazil is the top country by surface irrigation in the world. As of 2016, surface irrigation in Brazil was 1,547 thousand ha that accounts for 72.23 % of the world's surface irrigation. The top 5 countries (others are Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Portugal, Jamaica, and Niger) account for 99.76 % of it. The world's total surface irrigation was estimated at 2,141.79 thousand ha in 2016.

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What is surface irrigation?

Surface irrigation systems are based on the principle of moving water over the land by simple gravity in order to moisten the soil. They can be subdivided into furrow, borderstrip and basin irrigation (including submersion irrigation of rice). Manual irrigation using buckets or watering cans are also included. Surface irrigation does NOT refer to the method of transporting the water from the source up to the field, which may be done by gravity or by pumping.

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