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Answer Application

Year of publication:
Answer Application
Alon Ben-Gal and Avigail Benor, Department of Environmental Physics and Irrigation, Agricultural Research Organization, Israel




The Answer Application is a biological-physical model of water and salt balance, plant water use and plant response to stress coupled with economic calculations for profit in order to consider options for irrigating with water of varied salinity. The coupled model is packaged in a user-friendly menu- and web-based platform. Model inputs characterize the physical (soil hydraulic properties, weather), biological (crop relative response functions to water and salt), management (applied water quality and quantity), and economic (yield value, yield determined and static expenses, capital return, water pricing, farm unit size, etc.) parameters. The application returns yield and profit data for different scenarios of interest and allows consideration of environmental repercussions of economic decisions through calculation of leachate carrying excess water and salts out of the root zone. The application is a useful planning and teaching tool to understand issues of water quality, soil-water-crop-atmosphere relationships, and economic complexities of irrigated agricultural systems. 


Screen shots



Scientific articles

Ben-Gal A., Ityel E., Dudley L., Cohen S, Yermiyahu U, Presnov E, Zigmond L, Shani U. (2008) Effect of irrigation water salinity on transpiration and on leaching requirements: A case study for bell peppers. Agric. Water Manag. 95, 587-597. [Link]

Ben-Gal, A, Weikard, H-P, Shah SH, van der Zee S. (2013) A coupled agronomic-economic model to consider allocation of brackish irrigation water. Water Resour. Res. 49, 2861-2871. doi:10.1002/wrcr.20258. [Link]

Ben-Gal A Yermiyahu U and Cohen S. (2009) Fertilization and blending alternatives for irrigation with desalinated water. J Environ Qual. 38, 529-536. [Link]

Shani, U., Ben-Gal, A., Tripler, E., and Dudley, L. M. (2007). Plant response to the soil environment: An analytical model integrating yield, water, soil type, and salinity. Water Resources Research 43. W08418, doi:10.1029/2006WR005313. [Link]

Shani, U., Ben-Gal, A., Tripler, E. and Dudley, L.M. (2009). Correction to “Plant response to the soil environment: An analytical model integrating yield, water, soil type, and salinity”. Water Resources Res., 45, W05701, doi:10.1029/2009WR008094. [Link]


Technical information

Operating system(s): Web based. Works in Chrome , Mozilla Firefox , Opera. (does not work in Internet Explorer).

Licence: open, free

Output(s):  Predicted yield and profit of irrigated agricultural cropping systems

Export format(s): graphical on screen plus Excel

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