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Water 2017, 9(11), 847; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9110847

Modeling Regional Soil Water Balance in Farmland of the Middle Reaches of Heihe River Basin

1
Centre for Agricultural Water Research in China, College of Water Resources and Civil Engineering, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100083, China
2
State Key Laboratory of Hydroscience and Engineering, Department of Hydraulic Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
3
Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, Riley-Robb Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 September 2017 / Revised: 28 October 2017 / Accepted: 31 October 2017 / Published: 3 November 2017
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Abstract

Quantifying components of soil water balance in farmland of the middle reaches of Heihe River Basin is essential for efficiently scheduling and allocating limited water resources for irrigation in this arid region. A soil water balance model based on empirical assumptions in the vadose zone of farmland was developed and simulation results were compared/validated with results by the numerical model HYDRUS-1D. Results showed a good coherence between the simulated results of the water balance models and the HYDRUS-1D model in soil water storage, evapotranspiration, deep percolation and groundwater recharge, which indicated that the water balance model was suitable for simulating soil water movement in the study area. Considering the spatial distribution of cropping patterns, groundwater depth and agricultural management, ArcGIS was applied for the pre-/post-processing of the water balance model to quantify the spatial distribution of components of soil water balance in the major cropland in middle reaches of Heihe River Basin. Then, distributions of components of soil water balance in the major cropland under different water-saving irrigation practices during the growing season were predicted and discussed. Simulation results demonstrated that evapotranspiration of the main crops would be more prominently influenced by irrigation quota under deep groundwater depth than that under shallow groundwater depth. Groundwater recharge would increase with the increase of irrigation quota and decrease with the increase of groundwater depth. In general, when groundwater depth reached 3 m, groundwater recharge from root zone was negligible for spring wheat. While when it reached 6 m, groundwater recharge was negligible for maize. Water-saving irrigation practices would help to reduce groundwater recharge with a slight decrease of crop water consumption. View Full-Text
Keywords: water balance model; HYDRUS-1D; soil water balance; ArcGIS; Heihe River Basin water balance model; HYDRUS-1D; soil water balance; ArcGIS; Heihe River Basin
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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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Li, J.; Mao, X.; Shang, S.; Steenhuis, T.S. Modeling Regional Soil Water Balance in Farmland of the Middle Reaches of Heihe River Basin. Water 2017, 9, 847.

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