Water has become one of the most valuable resources in agricultural practices. Irrigation is the controlled application of water to crops at determined intervals. Irrigation aids in growing agricultural crops, and maintain landscapes, and revegetate disturbed soils in dry areas, such as Colorado and California, and during periods of less than average rainfall.
James Adkins emphasized the importance of this water management strategy and even suggested irrigation practices are not new concepts. Many ancient civilizations including the Mayans, and Babylonia, terracing, hanging towers, and planting on hills with step-like plots were the very beginnings of irrigation concepts. The foundations from ancient agricultural practices helped guide us to today.
Adkins expressed that thirty percent of American agricultural utilizes flood irrigation. Flood irrigation is mostly used in the west where three to four inches of water are applied at a time, to be effective, the soils for this application much be heavy unlike some of Delaware’s sandy soils. Thirty percent of Delaware’s land is irrigated equivalent to 150 thousand acres. Following World War II, sprinkler irrigation systems became widespread because aluminum became available to use for things other than aircraft.