Water saving methods

What are the low cost methods available for rice plant irrigation ?

This is an excerpt from sri-india.net

Sri Vari is supposed to reduce water use to a great extent and you can find a lot of information in the above site.

SRI is a cultivation methods which does not require much water.
What I want to know is of different types of irrigations systems like drip/sprinkler but that are not costly or too technical.

Varaahan,
Are you there? Busy with SRI cultivation?
Please come up with results you got in SRI method cultivation.
It will motivate all others to save water in cultivation.

Hi !

Last year I practiced SRI but this year I went a step ahead towards natural farming.
In spite of my repeated warnings , the care taker of my farm ploughed it and planted paddy saplings in November 2011 and within a couple of days , the north east monsoon rained hard and all the saplings were washed away. I waited for a month and asked him to plant seedlings afresh without tilling the land. De-weeding was done manually twice and the harvest was six and a half bags of paddy from my 0.29 acre of land.

Last year the village mill driver did not mill the paddy properly and all my paddy was broken into tiny pieces when milled. So this year I brought back just two bags of paddy to Chennai for milling. The total weight of paddy was 80 kgs. and I got rice of 57 Kg and broken rice of 7 kg. The milling percentage is 71.25 which is good.

Good,
You have experimented and got some results and these lessens will give you more in depth of knowledge as to what best can be done. Go ahead with multi crops in which you can have the paddy, vegetables etc fro short term.

Water can be provided through sprinkler to get maximum results.
All the best.

At present I don’t have proper water supply. I have dug a borewell and looking for a slow speed diesel pumpset .
I am clueless about sprinkler irrigation . Can u throw some light ?
Thanks.

Dear Sir,
Advantages of Sprinkler.
One of the main advantages of the sprinkler irrigation technology is more efficient use of water for irrigation in agriculture. Sprinkler systems eliminate water conveyance channels, thereby reducing water loss. Water is also distributed more evenly across crops helping to avoid wastage. The sprinkler irrigation system has also been shown to increased crop yields (Table 2) and is suited for most row, field and tree crops that are grown closely together, such as cereals, pulses, wheat, sugarcane, groundnut, cotton, vegetables, fruits, flowers, spices and condiments (Narayanmoorthy, no date) and for cultivating paddy crop (Kundu et al, 1998). 

Response of different crops to Sprinkler Irrigation Systems
Water saving % Yield increase %
Barley 56 16
Cabbage 40 3
Cauliflower-35 12
Chillies 33 24
Cotton 36 50
Groundnut-20 40
Maize 41 36
Onion 33 23
Potato 46 4
Wheat 35 24

Source: adapted from INCID (1998)

Sprinkler irrigation technology is well adapted to a range of topographies and is suitable in all types of soil, except heavy clay. Sprinkler systems can be installed as either permanent or mobile fixtures.  Sprinklers provide a more even application of water to agricultural land, promoting steady crop growth.  Likewise, soluble fertilisers can be channelled through the system for easy and even application. The risk of soil erosion can be reduced because the sprinkler system limits soil disturbance, which can occur when using irrigation by gravity. In addition, sprinkler irrigation can provide additional protection for plants against freezing at low temperatures.  Secondary benefits from improved crop productivity include income generation, employment opportunities and food security.

Disadvantages of the technology top:

The main disadvantages associated with sprinkler systems are related to climatic conditions, water resources and cost. Even moderate winds can seriously reduce the effectiveness of sprinkler systems by altering the distribution pattern of the water droplets.  Likewise, when operating under high temperatures, water can evaporate at a fast rate reducing the effectiveness of the irrigation.  Although sprinkler irrigation can help farmers to use water resources more efficiently, this technology relies on a clean source of water and therefore may not be suited to areas where rainfall is becoming less predictable. Implementation costs are higher than that of gravity-fed irrigation systems and large labour force is needed to move pipes and sprinklers in a non-permanent system. In some places such labour may not be available and may also be costly. Mechanised sprinkler irrigation systems have a relatively high energy demand (Savva and Frenken, 2002).

Ok !

Apart from these hi-tech systems , I’d like to know the natural water saving methods so as to keep the moisture level on the ground.
One method is to dig trenches along the contour lines and keep them mulched . Bu this involves using A frames or other suitable tools to mark the contour lines.
These methods may be useful in tree growing or small grains cultivation but what about paddy / wheat / vegetables etc ?

Hi,

To Dig Trenches, you can use a Tractor Operated Rotary Ditcher / Trench Maker. 
for details please visit tractorcabs.in/rotary%20ditchers.htm

Thanks