Groundwater level can influence soil water potential distribution and soil secondary salinization significantly. In the paper, the dynamic change in soil water content under film drip irrigation is simulated at different groundwater levels and irrigation quotas by using HYDRUS-2D software for cotton in Xinjiang Peacock River Basin. The results show that the cotton growth remains unaffected by water stress at 3 300 m3/hm2 irrigation quota when the groundwater level is 1.5 m below because the backwater effect of the groundwater on soil water is stronger. When the groundwater level is 2.0 m below, the soil water supplying capacity of the groundwater is decreased; consequently, the regulation effect of irrigation becomes dominated gradually. At 3 900 m3/hm2 irrigation quota, the water stress is mild, having a little effect on cotton yield, at 4 500 m3/hm2 quota, however, there is no water stress basically, and the yield is little influenced. When the groundwater level is 2.5 m below, the soil water supplying capacity is weakened further. Even though the irrigation quota is as high as 4 500 m3/hm2, the water stress is moderate, and will cause a certain degree reduction in the yield. This study provides an important reference of guide for groundwater resources utilization and cotton planting development in the river basin.
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