Water Resources Management

, Volume 32, Issue 5, pp 1849–1865 | Cite as

Improving Water Reuse in Paddy Field Districts with Cascaded On-farm Ponds using Hydrologic Model Simulations

  • Xuezhi Tan
  • Dongguo Shao
  • Wenquan Gu


On-Farm Ponds (OFPs) are an important irrigation facility in rice-based irrigation systems. An OFP water reuse system in paddy field districts is composed of upstream commanded paddy fields, irrigation and drainage ditches, cascaded OFPs and downstream irrigated paddy fields. This study assesses the performance of an OFP water reuse system and explores potential water management strategies to enhance return flow reuse for rice production. A cascaded model including a modified two-tank module and a pond water balance module is developed to describe hydrologic characteristics of the water reuse system. Model calibration and validation show that the measured and simulated data are in a good agreement and the proposed model can be used to hydrologic analyses of OFP water reuse systems. The water reuse system has high water reuse efficiency as the return flow regulated by OFPs was reused several times from the upstream to downstream of the paddy fields. Return flow and actual reuse water increase with the maximum ponded depth of paddy fields. As the water level in a drainage ditch decreases, the available return flow increases and local water shortage can be alleviated. The supply-and-demand gap between seasons becomes more harmonized when the regulated water level in pond increases, resulting in a decrease in water shortage. The reuse of return flow is a quick-response water supply solution to meet the rice water demand during peak demand periods.


On-Farm Ponds (OFPs) Cascaded model Modified two-tank model Return flow reuse 



This study was granted by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 51439006, 51379150, 91547108, 51779279) and the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFC0405905 and 2016YFC0401305). The first author was financially supported by the China Scholarship Council and the State Key Laboratory of Water Resources and Hydro-power Engineering at Wuhan University. Constructive comments and suggestions from anonymous reviewers and editors greatly helped improve the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

No interest conflict.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Water Resources and EnvironmentSun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering ScienceWuhan UniversityWuhanPeople’s Republic of China

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