Technological methods for improving irrigation efficiency are widely regarded as effective for reducing water use. However, it has not achieved the expected water savings; water use in some areas even increased. This situation implies that the so-called rebound effect may occur, which means the expected water savings are offset by the additional water demand arising from agricultural output increasing. Research on irrigation efficiency improvement's effect on water savings has palpable benefits nowadays. Nevertheless, the literatures on the rebound effect of irrigation water not been reviewed systematically. This paper reviews these literatures from these aspects of the following: a definition of water rebound effect, scale effects of water savings, and the rebound mechanism and magnitude of the water rebound effect. The irrigation water rebound effect needs to be researched further, and cannot be studied with the framework and method for energy rebound effects, due to the measuring complexity of water use, savings and efficiency. Future research areas should focus on the following: ① providing a clarified definition of irrigation water rebound effect, as to distinguish the hydrological and economic rebound, water use and consumption rebounds, and the general rebound and the backfire effects; ② deeply study the mechanism of irrigation water rebound; ③ develop a reasonable method for calculating the irrigation water rebound effect.