My father is a poor rice farmer. In the Philippines, the drought season can sometimes be severe. I still remember when I was a kid and there was an El Niño. There were big cracks in the rice paddies and our yard and garden also dried up. They did not have lawn sprinkler systems there and it was so bad I am not sure even that would have helped. Irrigation supplies consisted mainly of water pumps for those who could afford them.
Farmers that had money managed to harvest their rice because they could pump water from the nearby lake. It was quite a long stretch of drought and my family mostly relied on root crops from the mountain in order to survive. Now my father has flowing water in his rice field from a well that he put in a few years ago. The well flows constantly but it is not enough for the whole rice field when it gets really dry. My mother recently mentioned that they are currently in the midst of another drought.