There are many potential water sources in rural areas suitable for use in crop irrigation. A farm’s economic calculation and a good recognition of soil conditions is the basis for rational irrigation planning.
Depending on the expected unit value of yield per hectare of crop, the degree of investment in the water source may vary. The most common sources of irrigation in Poland are flowing surface water (rivers, streams, drainage ditches), standing water (lakes, ponds, small retention ponds) and groundwater (subsoil, deep groundwater). It is not uncommon for crops with a high unit yield price (e.g. vegetables, sheep) to use tap water. Many farms use rainwater harvesting tanks collected in former fire tanks or hardened silo pits. The use of agricultural wastewater and washings for irrigation also occurs. Each of these sources of water for agricultural irrigation has different capital and operating costs, including the energy cost for pumps and water treatment.