Irrigated paddy rice (Oryza sativa L.) is a staple food for roughly half of the world’s population. Concerns over water quality have arisen in recent decades, particularly in China, which is the largest rice-producing country in the world and has the most intensive use of nutrients and water in rice production. On the one hand, the poor water quality has constrained the use of water for irrigation to paddy systems in many areas of the world. On the other hand, nutrient losses from paddy production systems contribute to contamination and eutrophication of freshwater bodies. Here, we review rice production, water requirement, water quality issues, and management options to minimize nutrient losses from paddy systems. We conclude that management of nutrient source, rate, timing, and placement should be combined with the management of irrigation and drainage water to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus losses from paddies. More research is needed to identify cost-effective monitoring approaches and mitigation options, and relevant extension and policy should be enforced to achieve water quality goals. The review is preliminarily based on China’s scenario, but it would also provide valuable information for other rice-producing countries.
Part of the book: Irrigation in Agroecosystems
The groundwater has great potential for water resource utilization, accounting for about a quarter of vegetation transpiration globally and contributing up to 84% in shallow groundwater areas. However, in irrigated agricultural regions or coastal areas with shallow groundwater levels, due to the high groundwater salinity, the contribution of groundwater to transpiration is small and even harmful. This paper proposes a new conception of groundwater benefit zone in the groundwater-soil–plant-atmosphere continuum (GSPAC) system. Firstly, it analyzes the mutual feedback processes of the underground hydrological process and aboveground farmland ecosystem. Secondly, it elaborates on the regional water and salt movement model proposed vital technologies based on the optimal regulation of the groundwater benefit zone and is committed to building a synergy that considers soil salt control and groundwater yield subsidies. Finally, based on the GSPAC system water-salt coupling transport mechanism, quantitative model of groundwater benefit zone, and technical parameters of regional water-salt regulation and control, the scientific problems and development opportunities related to the conception of groundwater benefit zone have been prospected.
Part of the book: Soil Science