To demonstrate the significance of improved water management practices in rice cultivation, we conducted one large-scale experiment during the 1990-93 summer (Feb-May) seasons in farmers’ fields using one of the minor canals off the main canal of the Ukai-Kakrapar command area in Gujarat. The clay soil was representative of those in the area for salinity and sodicity. The infiltration rate of the soil was 2.5 mm d-1.
In the study plot (SP), 5 ± 2 cm of irrigation water was applied 1 d after standing water disappeared; in the control plot (CP), farmers’ practices were followed. Water depth in SP was observed using graduated, colored wooden pegs and the water application was measured using Parshall flumes installed in the canal. Water depth, measured periodically in CP, averaged 10±2 cm more across the crop growth period. No rain was received during any of the cropping seasons.