Catchwater Irrigation

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Catchwater Irrigation


deep, one-time spring wetting of the soil using local runoff water. In the USSR, catchwater irrigation is most widely found in the western, northern, and central regions of Kazakhstan, in the Volga Region, and in the Northern Caucasus, where it provides larger harvests of grasses, corn, and other crops (predominantly fodder).

Meltwater flowing down from higher ground, floodwaters, and excess water from reservoirs and canals is used for catchwater irrigation. The water is retained on the area to be irrigated by a system of embankments and levees. Excess water is released through spillways or outlets. The flooded areas may be simple or tiered, with several tiers of levees or embankments (technically the most advanced), and it may be shallow (a flooding depth of 25–35 cm) or deep (up to 1.5 m). The rate of irrigation in catchwater irrigation is 2,500–4,500 cu m of water per hectare. The duration of the flooding (usually 10–20 days) depends on the vegetation or the crop to be irrigated, the water capacity of the soil, and the depth of wetting.


Petrov, E. G., V. A. Solov’ev, and A. A. Chernykh. Limannoe oroshenie i vlagonakoplenie. Moscow, 1956.
Shumakov, B. A., and B. B. Shumakov. Limannoe oroshenie. Moscow, 1963.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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