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Water 2017, 9(1), 7; doi:10.3390/w9010007

Hydrologic Simulation of a Winter Wheat–Summer Maize Cropping System in an Irrigation District of the Lower Yellow River Basin, China

North China University of Water Resources and Electric Power, No. 36 Beihuan RD., Zhengzhou 450011, China
The Key Laboratory of Ecological Network Observation and Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), 11A Datun RD., Beijing 100101, China
Center for Dryland Water Resources Research and Watershed Science, Key Laboratory of West China’s Environmental System (Ministry of Education), Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
Department of Geography, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI 49008, USA
State Key Laboratory of Hydraulics and Mountain River Engineering, College of Water Resource & Hydropower, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610065, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Y. Jun Xu
Received: 30 June 2016 / Revised: 15 December 2016 / Accepted: 17 December 2016 / Published: 1 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2718 KB, uploaded 1 January 2017]   |  


Conflicts between water supply and water demand are intensifying in irrigation districts along the Lower Yellow River due to climate change and human activities. To ensure both adequate food supply and water resource sustainability in China, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model was used to simulate the water balance and water use of agro-ecosystems in an irrigation district of the lower Yellow River Basin, China. Simulated average annual irrigation requirements decreased from 1969 to 2010. Irrigation requirements during the winter wheat season decreased owing to reduced reference evapotranspiration and increased precipitation. Annual evapotranspiration (ET) increased with increasing irrigation volume, and differences among irrigation scenarios were mainly due to ET of winter wheat. Water deficit typically occurred during winter wheat seasons with less precipitation. Field seepage and surface runoff tended to occur in years with high precipitation, particularly during the summer maize season under full irrigation and scheduled irrigation scenarios. Frequent and heavy irrigation did not always lead to high water use efficiency. To cope with limited water resources in this region, it is necessary to properly irrigate crops based on soil water content and take full advantage of precipitation and surface runoff during the summer maize season. View Full-Text
Keywords: water balance; evapotranspiration; irrigation district; Soil and Water Assessment Tool water balance; evapotranspiration; irrigation district; Soil and Water Assessment Tool

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Liu, L.; Ma, J.; Luo, Y.; He, C.; Liu, T. Hydrologic Simulation of a Winter Wheat–Summer Maize Cropping System in an Irrigation District of the Lower Yellow River Basin, China. Water 2017, 9, 7.

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