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Source wise Net Area irrigated in Tamil Nadu as per Statistical Hand Book 2018

February 12, 2020


Based on the data of Net Area Irrigated, published in Statistical Hand Book 2018 by the Department of Economics and Statistics, the graph arrived as shown below, clearly exhibits the Source Wise Net Area Irrigated in Tamil Nadu, during the Period of 2016-2017.

Irrigation is a vital input for food security in the State of Tamil Nadu. It is the artificial application of water to the soil for growth of plants.

Sources of Irrigation

Water is an important determinant factor of production of crops in agriculture sector.  Intensive and extensive cultivation of land depend mainly on the availability of water. Medium and minor irrigation schemes are implemented in the state for augmenting the irrigation for agriculture.

Among the sources of irrigation, Wells accounted for 65%, followed by canals (22%) and tanks (11%) of the total net area irrigated of 24 lakhs hectares in 2016-17.  The Net area irrigated constituted 55% of the net sown area. It shows that the agricultural and allied activities are monsoon dependent and agriculture dances to the tune played by the monsoon.

Area Irrigated

The net area irrigated by different sources during 2016-17 was 23,84,705 hectares in the state.

Canals (Including System Tanks)

Canals are the major source of irrigation in Tamil Nadu. As the system tanks get supply from a permanent storage like reservoirs, dams etc., the area irrigated by this source is classified under canals. During 2016-17, Canal irrigation accounted for 22.05% of the net area irrigated by all sources in the state.

Tanks (Non –System Tanks only)

The non-system tanks which are fed partly from their independent catchment areas and partly from the diversion of river water and jungle streams depend fully on rain. The Non-system tanks contribute about 11.0% of the net area irrigated by all sources in Tamil Nadu during the year 2016-17.


Wells are the principal source of irrigation in Tamil Nadu. During the year under review, open wells and tube-wells / bore-wells continued to be the principal source of irrigation.  The net area irrigated by open wells and tube-wells / bore-wells together accounted for 1553687 hectares. (About 65.2% of the total net area irrigated) in 2016-17.

Gross Area Irrigated

Gross area irrigated includes the net area irrigated and the area irrigated more than once. Gross area irrigated by all sources during 2016-17 is 2844598 hectares.

Irrigation Intensity

The Irrigation intensity (The ratio of gross area irrigated to net area irrigated) is 1.19 for the state during 2016-17.

Resource Title: Source Wise Net Area Irrigated 2016-17 in Tamil Nadu.

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Source: Tamil Nadu, Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Department, Department of Economics and Statistics