Quantifying water losses in paddy fields assists estimation of water availability in rainfed lowland rice ecosystem. Little information is available on water balance in different toposequence positions of sloped rainfed lowland. Therefore, the aim of this work was to quantify percolation and the lateral water flow with special reference to the toposequential variation. Data used for the analysis was collected in Laos and northeast Thailand. Percolation and water tables were measured on a daily basis using a steel cylindrical tube with a lid and perforated PVC tubes, respectively. Percolation rate was determined using linear regression analysis of cumulative percolation. Assuming that the total amount of evaporation and transpiration was equivalent to potential evapotranspiration, the lateral water flow was estimated using the water balance equation. Separate perched water and groundwater tables were observed in paddy fields on coarse-textured soils. The percolation rate varied between 0 and 3 mm/day across locations, and the maximum water loss by lateral movement was more than 20 mm/day. Our results are in agreement with the previously reported findings, and the methodology of estimating water balance components appears reasonably acceptable. With regard to the toposequential variation, the higher the position in the topoesquence, the greater potential for water loss because of higher percolation and lateral flow rates
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