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The USGS Water Science School

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Water Science Photo Gallery
Irrigation water use: Center-pivot sprinkler irrigation

If you've looked out of an airplane window while flying over the central or western United States, chances are you saw lot of the "little" circles on the ground. They are center-pivot irrigation circles. In these systems, water is pumped from a well in the center of the circle from an underground aquifer and distributed through a giant pipe hundreds of yards long; the whole systems pivots around a central point. In the past, large spray guns were used to shoot water through the air onto the crops, but nowadays more efficient low-pressure sprinklers hang from the pipes to spray water close to the ground, which is a much more efficient method that saves water.

 Back to: Irrigation water use | Irrigation methods |

Center-pivot low-energy sprinkler irrigation in Nebraska.

Credit: USGS

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