Irrigation Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Tiffany Hightower

Tiffany is a certified elementary school teacher. She has a B.A. in English, education certification and a master's degree in education from Central Michigan University.

Irrigation is an important part of your life. In this lesson, you will explore how irrigation is used daily, how important it is to your survival, and how you can have fun with irrigation! Continue reading to learn more.

What's Irrigation?

Can you imagine being at a park on a hot, summer day? You are having lots of fun, but you want to cool off. All of a sudden, you notice there are sprinklers on the other side of the park, and lots of kids are splashing around in them and having fun! So you run towards the sprinklers to join in on the excitement. Have you ever wondered how the water from the sprinklers got there? Well, it is through a process called irrigation. Irrigation is the process of watering the ground, or when water is taken from one place and sent to where it is needed.

Kids running through sprinklers
Sprinklers Irrigation & Kids

Why is Irrigation Important?

Irrigation is important to your survival. Can you imagine having to walk to a river or lake daily to get the water you need to drink, cook, clean and bathe? That sounds pretty tough! Well, irrigation helps you with this daily. Your home's water supply is there because of irrigation, which brings water into your home from a local water supply.

It takes an enormous amount of farmland to grow enough fruits and vegetables crops for us to eat. Although these crops may get rain, sometimes it is not enough to grow the largest and tastiest fruits and vegetables to keep us healthy. Therefore, farmers use irrigation to supply necessary water to their farms. Did you know that the farm animals also need to eat those fruits and vegetables and drink the water from irrigation? As you can see, irrigation is an important process that keeps us healthy and clean.

Where Does the Water for Irrigation Come from?

Oceans cover about 70% of the Earth's surface, making them the largest bodies of water on the planet. However, they are made of saltwater, so we cannot use this source of water to drink and water plants. But freshwater sources, such as rivers, lakes, springs, melted snow and underground bodies of water, can be used in irrigation for farmland and for us to drink. Did you also know your city's water department makes sure that this water is clean and sterilized before it comes into your home?

Irrigation on Farmland

I bet you've used irrigation before! Have you ever planted a garden or flowers? If so, you probably watered your plants from a pitcher, bucket or watering can. This is a simpler form of irrigation, or moving water to where it is needed. Many farmers use a more complex form of irrigation to water large farms. This is when water is brought to the farm from rivers or lakes through extremely long pipes that can be miles long! Farmers may also dig wells and push water up through tubes to water plants from below.

Another way to water plants is called drip irrigation. Farmers place tubes with holes in them throughout the farmland and push water through the tubes. Then the water drips out of the holes in the tubes to water the farm. Another way irrigation works is when farmers dig pathways or canals from a water supply, which allows the water to flow towards the crops.

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