WINDS Model Demonstration with Field Data from a Furrow-Irrigated Cotton Experiment

Hadiqa Maqsood, Douglas J. Hunsaker, Peter Waller, Kelly R. Thorp, Andrew French, Diaa Eldin Elshikha, Reid Loeffler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The WINDS (Water-Use, Irrigation, Nitrogen, Drainage, and Salinity) model was developed to provide decision support for irrigated-crop management in the U.S. Southwest. The model uses a daily time-step soil water balance (SWB) to simulate the dynamics of water content in the soil profile and evapotranspiration. The model employs a tipping bucket approach during infiltration events and Richards’ equation between infiltration events. This research demonstrates WINDS simulation of a furrow-irrigated cotton experiment, conducted in 2007 in central Arizona, U.S. Calibration procedures for WINDS include the crop coefficient curve or segmented crop coefficient curve, rate of root growth, and root activity during the growing season. In this research, field capacity and wilting point were measured in the laboratory at each location and in each layer. Field measurements included water contents in layers by neutron moisture meter (NMM), irrigation, crop growth, final yield, and actual ETc derived by SWB. The calibrated WINDS model was compared to the neutron probe moisture contents. The average coefficient of determination was 0.92, and average root mean squared error (RMSE) was 0.027 m3 m−3. The study also demonstrated WINDS ability to reproduce measured crop evapotranspiration (ETc actual) during the growing season. This paper introduces the online WINDS model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1544
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • cotton
  • evapotranspiration
  • irrigation scheduling
  • model
  • root activity
  • soil water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology


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