In Commission Decision 2000/115/EC applicable to the Farm Structure Surveys carried out in 2000, 2003, 2005 and 2007 and in Regulation (EC) No 1200/2009 applicable to the Farm Structure Survey carried out in 2010 the total irrigated area is defined as follows:
- Area of crops which have actually been irrigated at least once during the 12 months prior to the survey date.
- Crops under glass and kitchen gardens, which are almost always irrigated, should not be included.
- If more than one crop is grown in a field during the harvest year, the area should only be indicated once: for the main crop, if irrigation was used for it, or otherwise for the most important irrigated secondary or successive crop.
Irrigation is the use of water in agriculture in order to foster crop growth, especially in dry areas. It is a major input use in agriculture and a basic driving force for water abstraction.