Land leveling is considered a best management practice for agricultural water conservation. One of the most effective technologies for this practice is the use of laser leveling. Fields are made level with lasers, removing low spots and reducing water lost to run off. In some instances, this can cut water applications by 30 percent or more. Since agricultural water use accounts for more than half of the state’s water use, conservation in this sector is crucial.
Land leveling is also useful as a catalyst for a variety of field upgrades and management changes that can further conserve water on farm fields.
Since 2006, the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) has helped save at least 3 billion gallons of water by providing grants to rice farmers to laser level their fields. The program is funded by House Bill 1437, which required the LCRA to develop conservation strategies with input from the Agriculture Water Conservation Fund Advisory Committee.
Photo credit: IRRI Photos