Enhanced Water Use Efficiency by Intermittent Irrigation for Irrigated Rice in Indonesia

ABSTRACT

In Islamic perspective, water resource should be managed properly and used in a sustainable way including for irrigated rice in Indonesia. Continuous flooding irrigation that commonly used in rice production characterized by insufficient water use because the quantity of irrigation water is usually supplied to the field greater than plant water requirement. The current study was performed to evaluate intermittent irrigation in raising water use efficiency for rice production in Indonesia particularly in the rainy season. Achieving this goal, a field experiment was conducted in Karang Sari Village, Bekasi, West Java, Indonesia during the first rice season 2007/2008 (December 2007 to April 2008) in the rainy season. Here, two irrigation regimes were compared i.e., intermittent irrigation (II) regime and continuous flooding (CF) regime. As the results, it was clearly observed that II regime raised water use efficiency index up to 37.6% by saving water input up to 26.07% compared to CF regime. The II regime also reduced excess water through percolation and runoff significantly. The II regime also resulted in better yield and crop performance compared to continuous flooding irrigation even if not significant. The main reason is that under intermittent irrigation, aerobic condition was created. This condition promoted higher activity of the plants for the establishment of a larger and deeper root as reported previous studies. Therefore, the results suggested that intermittent irrigation is suitable way to raise water use efficiency without decreasing yield for irrigated rice in Indonesia.

Keywords

Water management, water use efficiency, paddy fields, intermittent irrigation

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