Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2013ND271B

Measurement and modeling of soil moisture changes for subsurface drained and subirrigated fields in the Red River Valley

Institute: North Dakota
Year Established: 2013 Start Date: 2013-03-01 End Date: 2014-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $3,608 Total Non-Federal Funds: $4,272

Principal Investigators: Xinhua Jia

Abstract: Drainage water management (DWM) is one of the biggest challenges of agricultural producers. During wet periods, excess water must be removed from fields to promote healthy plant development. Conversely during drought periods, crops need additional water to be supplied in order to achieve desired yields. Through the removal or addition of water with subsurface drainage or subirrigation, producers will be able to effectively manage their water tables and available water content to their plants. It is estimated that 10 million ha in the United States and Canada are suitable for DWM, with their average land slopes being less than 0.5%. The majority of the Red River Valley falls within these 10 million ha, making it a prime location for implementation of DWM practice. A large field experiment with four water management plans has been set up in the RRV and is scheduled to run in 2011 - 2014. Various instruments have been installed to measure the water balance components. To predict the effects of water management on water table position and soil moisture for a region, hydrological models are required, such as Hydrus-2D and DRAINMOD.The research project will focus on measuring the input parameters for DRAINMOD and Hydrus-2D models for four different DWM practices, and comparing the observed field response with the simulated field response for each practice. The specific objectives are to: 1)Gather field data to be inputted to the Hydrus-2D and DRAINMOD during 2012-2013. 2)Simulate water movement in the field under different rainfall events and for the entire growing season. 3)Conduct statistical analysis on the models accuracy in modeling real field conditions, specifically the change in soil moisture in the root zone.