Main Article Content
Expecting the projected regional or global climate change, weather could have a significant effect on soil moisture and thereby affecting the plant growth. Water deficiency is considered as one of the major climatic restraints for crop production in Bangladesh, especially in the dry season. To better understand the crop responses to moisture variation, a quantitative analysis is done for major water balance components named, potential evapotranspiration (PET), actual evapotranspiration (AET), soil moisture storage (ST), water deficiency (WD) and water surplus (WS) with the use of Thornthwaite monthly water balance program. Analyses were carried out for three different seasons, together with interannual variability for 12 major rice growing districts of Bangladesh representing the north, central, southern and coastal zones. Hindcasted monthly average surface air temperature and precipitation data were collected from Bangladesh meteorological department during 1986 to 2006. Results suggested, trend of PET was same in every station and generally higher values were observed in the month of July and August. Khulna, the coastal station had the highest annual average PET of 1369 mm. The lowest annual AET of 1108 mm was estimated for Teknaf, while Dinajpur stood in second lowest position. ST was found almost at field capacity from July to September and, the southern station Chittagong experienced the highest average monthly ST. Maximum WD was found in Bogra and second highest shortage was in Dinajpur. The assessment of average WD of 178 mm yr-1 in northern Bangladesh reflected the worst situation among all regions, besides focusing the winter as the most crucial season regarding the water scarcity. Least amount of WS was noticed for the southern station Khulna. Significant positive relationship (p<0.05) between soil moisture and current rice yields proved the importance of surplus water conservation for the drought prone zone of Bangladesh. To boost up the rice production and cooping with climate change consequences, integrated adaptation and mitigation measures should be recommended for agriculture.