Increasing water productivity for paddy irrigation in China uri icon

abstract

  • This paper introduces the research on practices to increase water productivity for paddy irrigation in China and summarizes the experience on implementation of the alternate wetting and drying (AWD) irrigation technique. The widespread adoption of the AWD practice on 40% of the rice growing area provides an opportunity for China to produce more food in the water-surplus south where it is wet and the traditional based paddy field agriculture is dominant. Physical and institutional measures leading to increasing water and land productivity in rice-based systems are discussed. Research studies show that AWD practice does not reduce rice yield, but does increase the productivity of water. Water use and thus water charges can be reduced. However, experience shows that demonstrations and training are needed to encourage farmer adoption. Furthermore, there are a range of complementary policies and practices, such as volumetric pricing or farm pond development, which provide incentives for adoption of AWD. Finally, there remain many scientific issues to be addressed. Application of the AWD technique in some regions is still very difficult because of both bio-physical and socio-economic problems. In conclusion, the widespread adoption of AWD is only a first step in the continuing effort to find practices that will increase water productivity for paddy irrigation in China.

publication date

  • 2004
  • 2004