Soil water and salt transport in soil profiles and capillary rise from shallow groundwater are significant seasonal responses that help determine irrigation schedules and agricultural development in arid areas. In this study the Agricultural Water Productivity Model for Shallow Groundwater (AWPM-SG) was modified by adding a soil salinity simulation to precisely describe the soil water and salt cycle, calculating capillary fluxes from shallow groundwater using readily available data, and simulating the effect of soil salinity on crop growth. The model combines an analytical solution of upward flux from groundwater using the Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) crop growth model. The modified AWPM-SG was calibrated and validated with a maize field experiment run in 2016 in which predicted soil moisture, soil salinity, groundwater depth, and leaf area index were in agreement with the observations. To investigate the response of the model, various scenarios with varying groundwater depth and groundwater salinity were run. The inhibition of groundwater salinity on crop yield was slightly less than that on crop water use, while the water consumption of maize with a groundwater depth of 1 m is 3% less than that of 2 m, and the yield of maize with groundwater depth of 1 m is only 1% less than that of 2 m, under the groundwater salinity of 2.0 g/L. At the same groundwater depth, the higher the salinity, the greater the corn water productivity, and the smaller the corn irrigation water productivity. Consequently, using modified AWPM-SG in irrigation scheduling will be beneficial to save more water in areas with shallow groundwater.
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