Utilization of ICT in rice field water management

Updated:August 23, 2017 (Wednesday)

-Easy and efficient method using smartphone-

The Institute for Rural Engineering, NARO has developed the first domestic system that allows remote control and automatic monitoring of water supply and drainage in rice paddy fields using smartphone or PC. Utilization of this ICT-based system in experimental rice fields showed about 80% reduction in working time related to water management and about 50% reduction in water consumption during rice cultivation from heading to harvesting. With this system, it is possible to achieve both saving labor in water management and efficient use of water resources.


  1. Daily management of water supply and drainage in rice fields, which accounts for about 30% of working hours in paddy rice cultivation, is a heavy burden particularly for farmers managing large and dispersed paddy fields.
  2. The Institute for Rural Engineering, NARO has developed a system that adds a control device with an network communication function and a sensing function to the existing water supply valve and drain port, so that the system that can control the water supply valve and the drain outlet remotely and automatically.
  3. Users of devices such as smartphones and personal computers can browse data such as the water level and water temperature of the paddy field anywhere, and can freely manage the water supply at any time according to the situation. Furthermore, by using the water management software on the server, it is possible to maintain arbitrary water depth automatically, perform intermittent irrigation at set intervals, perform nighttime irrigation to raise the water temperature, and other water management activities efficiently and automatically.
  4. Water management labor and water supply fluctuate greatly depending on the number of paddy fields and location conditions, but in the demonstration field of NARO, it is possible to reduce the working hours of water management by about 80%, and to reduce the water supply from the heading stage to harvesting by about 50%.
  5. The target price for the automatic water supply valve and automatic drain port is 100,000 yen per machine, base station is 200,000 - 300,000 yen, communication charge is 2,000~4,000 yen per month. It is scheduled to be released by major agricultural companies within this fiscal year.

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