Irrigation facilities have been built for considerable areas of cropped land, but the desired level of output by way of increased irrigated area and agricultural production has not been achieved. This is mainly attributed to the wastage of water at certain reaches. As rice is a major consumer of irrigation water, much has to be done to improve water-use efficiency in rice fields and this is possible only through farmers’ participation. Farmers generally have the impression that field-to-field flowing water is best for rice growth. They are reluctant to follow scientific recommendations in water management. (Scientific water management relates to maintaining the standing water at 1-2 cm from transplanting to tillering and 1-5 cm from tillering to 10 d before harvest.) Rice yield can be influenced by different water management practices such as continuous submergence (Mandal and Chatterjee 1984), varying levels of submergence at different growth stages (Thorat et al 1987), and shallow submergence (5 ± 2 cm) during the crop’s entire growth cycle (Jha and Sahoo 1988). Our study aimed to evaluate the effect of scientific water management along with farmers’ practices on rice cultivation and to demonstrate how farmer participation in the research program can enhance water management.