Evaluation of AquaCrop model in simulating bitter gourd water productivity under saline irrigation

Kamran Baksh Soomro, Sina Alaghmand, Muhammad Rizwan Shahid, Sanyogita Andriyas, Amin Talei

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The agricultural sector, globally, faces multifaceted challenges to produce more with a minimum amount of water to enhance water productivity (WP). In this regard, crop modelling is an efficient approach for estimating WP and plays a significant role in addressing water management strategies. The present research has been conducted in Malir, Karachi—a semi-arid region in the Sindh Province of Pakistan. The aim was to evaluate the effects of two different qualities of irrigation water including, fresh quality (IT1 0.56 dS m−1) and saline groundwater (IT2 2.89 dS m−1) on canopy cover (CC), biomass, crop yield and water productivity (WP) of bitter-gourd. The AquaCrop model was used for the first time for bitter gourd in a semi-arid region under drip irrigation. Simulations were carried out for two cropping seasons (i.e. season one (summer) and season two (winter). The modelled values were slightly higher than the measured biomass and yield values in both calibration and validation procedures. The performance of the AquaCrop model was estimated through different statistical indicators such as model efficiency (E), root mean square error (RMSE), and index of agreement (dindex). These indicators revealed that the model simulated bitter gourd biomass and crop yield well. In addition, the model's performance was good under all irrigation treatments, with RMSE in the range 1.2–3.7, 0.5–1.8, dindex 0.94–0.98 and E 0.93–0.97. The model also overestimated the biomass and crop yield. Overall, the AquaCrop model overestimated biomass and crop yield for both seasons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-73
Number of pages11
JournalIrrigation and Drainage
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


  • AquaCrop
  • bitter gourd
  • crop yield
  • drip irrigation
  • water productivity

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