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Water-efficient and risk-mitigation technologies for enhancing rice production in irrigated and rainfed environments (WateRice)

Water is a vital component for successful and sustainable rice production. Any shortfall in the water supply can affect agricultural and economic growth, quality of life, and the social stability of the country.  Along with these challenges, water scarcity also brings secondary issues. When water is scarce, weeds become another problem for farmers. Weeds directly compete with crops for water. It is even more pronounced in rainfed areas that constantly struggle with a water shortage because of a lack of irrigation.

The WateRice project aims to increase production efficiency and water-productivity and reduce production risks through the development, dissemination, and adoption of appropriate crop management technologies in irrigated and rainfed environments.

Through WateRice, IRRI is developing an irrigation advisory service using AutoMonPH (an IoT-based tool) for improving water productivity at plot and watershed scale. Built on the “safe-AWD” principle, the water management using AutoMonPH will guide farmers, irrigation associations, irrigation managers, and extension personnel in irrigation scheduling and managing the water. Also, the project is evaluating the effects of enabling technologies (e.g., laser leveling, mechanized crop establishment methods) on improving water productivity and production efficiency in rainfed environments; develop best management practices to improve yield and net return and reduce investment risk in rainfed environments; and develop integrated weed management practices for irrigated and rainfed environments.