Evaluating the performance of SALTMED model under alternate irrigation using saline and fresh water strategies to winter wheat in the North China Plain

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2019 Nov;26(33):34499-34509. doi: 10.1007/s11356-019-06540-w. Epub 2019 Oct 23.


The effective water management in the North China Plain (NCP) needs a tool to predict winter wheat production due to water quality. A large quantity of brackish water is stored underground in this region, and whether this water can be used properly in agriculture is becoming a crucial issue that is about to be resolved. The SALTMED model is a generic modeling tool for efficient irrigation management strategies, especially for cyclic use of saline and fresh water as well as different water qualities, and it still needs further investigation for alternate irrigation using saline and fresh water at different growth stages of winter wheat. Therefore, the aim of this investigation was to evaluate the performance of SALTMED model and simulate the production of winter wheat grown under different irrigation strategies. Irrigation strategies comprised rain-fed cultivation (NI), fresh and saline water irrigation (FS), saline and fresh water irrigation (SF), saline water irrigation (SS), and fresh water irrigation (FF). Three-year observed data were used for the validations of SALTMED model. The values of evaluation indices of relative error, RMSE, NRMSE, index of agreement (D-index), and R2 between simulated and observed grain yield were 6.8%, 0.8, 10.7, 0.9, and 0.9, respectively. The model results supported and matched the observed data and indicated similar differences among the irrigated and rain-fed treatments. It is concluded that the SALTMED model is able to predict grain yield of winter wheat and its productivity under the alternate irrigation using saline and fresh water and their interaction in the climate condition of the NCP.

Keywords: Fresh water; Grain yield; Model; Saline water; Water productivity; Winter wheat.

MeSH terms

  • Agricultural Irrigation / methods
  • Agriculture / methods*
  • Biomass
  • China
  • Edible Grain / growth & development
  • Fresh Water
  • Rain
  • Seasons
  • Triticum / growth & development
  • Triticum / metabolism*
  • Water


  • Water