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You might have seen green circles on Google Maps in northern areas of Saudi Arabia and wondered what are these green circles. Saudi Arabia is one of the countries that use Centre Pivot irrigation and circle farms.
The circular crops visible on the map are basically due to the center pivot irrigation used by the country. You will find these circular crop fields on the map of those countries that utilize this form of irrigation.
Centre Pivot Irrigation
The center pivot irrigation system uses a range of sprinklers that rotate around a point. This causes the irrigated area to emerge as circle farms.
This type of irrigation system is credited to the Boeing system, which uses heavy water pumps that are capable of pumping water up to 5 miles in a circular radius. The circumference of a circle is around 3.5 km.
Circle farms in Saudi Arabia
In Saudi Arabia, the Center Pivot Irrigation is being used at many projects that are basically on the arid and Hyper-arid land.
The non-renewable fossil water, which lies at a depth of 1 km, is mined and pumped to irrigate the fields using the center pivot irrigation system. Such irrigation system is used for various fields such as wheat and alfalfa.
The water path that is utilized by the project is determined by the engineers. The engineers determine the river channels that the sand seas have now buried. However, such irrigation projects are limited in production as reservoirs in Saudi Arabia have been drained out.
Saudi Arabia has initialized multifaceted programs to help grow the agricultural sector. Dams are being built to store the water from the seasonal floods.
However, one of the alarming things is that Saudi Arabia is suffering from a water depletion crisis. The underground water and aquifers are being depleted with time.
This has caused Saudi Arabia to buy expensive agricultural land in foreign countries. According to the latest statistics, Saudi Arabia has been ranked as a major buyer of agricultural land in foreign countries.