Water budgeting is very important as there is a direct correlation between water use and profitability. It is recommended that you record and understand your historical rice crop water use levels for each specific paddock before making sowing decisions. Strategies can be implemented to reduce crop water use.
Low surface water irrigation allocations in recent years have led to the increased use of groundwater for rice growing. Groundwater usually has higher salinity than surface water. the salinity of surface water is measured using electrical conductivity (etc), and is usually below 0.2 dS/m (130 ppm).
Four years of investigation into delaying the application of permanent water on drill sown rice has proven the technique to be a viable water management option. Research conducted on both red-brown earth and self-mulching clay soils has shown that rice copes well with the moisture stress and that delayed permanent water leads to considerable water savings with only a small decline in grain yield.