Predicting Water Quality as Affected by ET Using the Root Zone Water Quality Model

by Kenneth W. Rojas, USDA-ARS, Fort Collins, United States,
Donn G. DeCoursey, USDA-ARS, Fort Collins, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Irrigation and Drainage: Saving a Threatened Resource—In Search of Solutions


The Root Zone Water Quality Model (RZWQM) is a physically based simulation model used to predict water and solute movement running from, moving through, and leaching out of the root zone. Among its many submodels, RZWQM contains a multifaceted management component which can be used to study the effect of management on soil water and related water quality processes. To complement this, a robust evapotranspiration (ET) submodel provides estimates of evaporation and transpiration flux out of the soil profile. The coupling of these two submodels provides a powerful tool for studying ET effects on water quality. Through the use of tillage practices, agrichemical applications, residue management, and irrigation scheduling, RZWQM can predict water quality responses to such problems as chemical leaching, salinity levels, and chemical runoff. Results from model operation are presented to show the effect of irrigation method on water quality within the root zone.

Subject Headings: Water quality | Hydrologic models | Simulation models | Vegetation | Soil water | Quality control | Salt water | Groundwater quality

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