By Morgan Spiehs, program associate
Since launching in September, the AquaCrop-OS software tool for agricultural water management has reached more than 100 downloads and received international attention through publications.
AquaCrop-OS is the open-source version of AquaCrop, a crop water productivity model that was first developed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in 2009. Anyone may download the model and documentation for free from aquacropos.com.
Downloads took place in more than 30 countries for a variety of uses within academia and government, as well as by farmers, private industries and non-governmental organizations.
The development team published a paper describing the model that will appear in the February edition of Agricultural Water Management, an international journal that publishes papers in the areas of science, economics and policy that address water management in agriculture. An article about AquaCrop’s availability was also featured in The Source, a quarterly magazine of the International Water Association (IWA). IWA, based in London, is the largest international network of water professionals with representation in 130 countries.
AquaCrop-OS partners include the University of Manchester, the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska (WFI), FAO and Imperial College, London. The lead developer of the AquaCrop-OS program is Tim Foster, lecturer in water-food security at the University of Manchester and former WFI postdoctoral researcher.
AquaCrop-OS has a number of innovative features that are valuable to those interested in improving agricultural water management:
- Support for multiple operating systems, extending AquaCrop to Mac and Linux users.
- Capacity to integrate with high-performance computing resources, such as models for assessing climate change impacts on agriculture.
- Ability to quickly and effectively link with other water resources management tools, even if the software has been developed in a different programming language.