Surface-Drained Level Basins for Rice Production

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by Allen R. Dedrick, USDA-ARS, Phoenix, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Irrigation and Drainage

Abstract: Surface-drained level-basin systems, consisting of a series of terraced level basins in which a portion of the applied water is drained from the inlet end of the basin, can be used to irrigate rice as well as other field crops. The uniqueness of the conveyance and distribution channel, coupled with the precision finishing of the basin surface, provides an improved practice over conventional contour-levee systems. Flooding and maintaining the flood for rice production or irrigating conventionally for other crops can be easily accomplished. Basins oriented 'on-the-contour' rather than the more conventional 'square-with-the-world' approach should be considered because of reduced land preparation costs and minimized reclamation requirements for cut areas. Surface-drained level basins and contour-levee systems should be designed using standard guidelines in use for conventionally irrigated level basins. Current recommended design procedures for contour-levee systems are inappropriate when producing paddy rice in rotation with conventional field crops. Paddy rice production is adversely affected when depth of flooding exceeds about 7.5 cm, suggesting that not only is the targeted depth of flooding important to rice production, but that precisely leveled field surfaces are important as well.

Subject Headings: Crops | Floods | Drainage systems | Drainage basins | Irrigation | Water resources | Water supply systems |

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