Water Management & GIS Division
Studies on rice water management have been initiated at the Agricultural Research Station at Maha Illuppallama in 1966 and carried out until 1994. After re-structuring of the DOA and establishment of specific research stations in 1994, rice research became the sole responsibility of the RRDI. However, after establishment of the RRDI, there was no much emphasis given on water management research. Research on rice water management at RRDI has been initiated by Dr. WMW Weerakoon in 2004 under the Division of Agronomy and then the Division of Water Management and GIS was established in 2006 and started research by Ms. WMUK Rathnayake.
Water plays an important role in many of the practices in rice cultivation such as weed management, fertilizer application, and pest and diseases control etc. Water is significant in determining quality and yield of rice grain, influences the environmental quality creating conditions such as salinity, alkalinity, iron toxicity etc. and affects the growth of rice plant differently at different phonological stages of the crop. Therefore, water management is crucial in rice cultivation.
Geo-informatics including GIS (Geographic Information System) can be used in agricultural resource management, rice crop identification, area estimation, assessment of land suitability, identification of cultivation calendar, assessment of inputs and inventory resources, for water use and water availability mapping, water management in rice farming, for efficient use of fertilizer, assessment of crop damage and identification of control measures, forecasting yield and marketing. Therefore, GIS is used as a tool for above in rice cultivation.