SoilWater App Reference Library

Here you will find a range of documents, presentations and videos relating to the SoilWater App.

Getting started YouTube

An introductory video on setting up SWApp to explore soil water.


Evaluation of SWApp

Independent review of SWApp by Dr Ann Starasts 2018

Science behind SWApp

Published: "Environmental Modelling & Software 104 (2018) pp55-63"

Abstract: Rainfall is low and unreliable in much of Australia's dryland cropping areas, requiring well-informed crop management for optimising yield and profit. Growing-season rainfall is usually supplemented by soil water during fallow periods preceding a crop. While rainfall is conveniently measured, the difficulty of measuring a soil's plant available water (PAW, mm) has led to using simulation models for estimating PAW. Here we developed a smartphone application (app) that simulates soil water balance by accessing weather, soil and crop data from databases and on-farm records. Predictions of PAW using the Howleaky modelling engine were compared with field measurements. Validation of the simulation engine across sites in Australian cropping areas showed good agreement between simulated and measured PAW. Errors in model estimates are compared with variability found within small fields. We conclude that estimating PAW for paddocks using a simulation model built in a smartphone app is a reliable and adaptable technology. 

Common questions - soil water

A collection of commonly asked questions from extension activities in the Queensland DPI (1980-2005).

Answers based on tillage and catchment studies over 25 years.


A note describing SoilWaterApp

(GRDC updates early 2016)

SWApp for irrigators

SWApp provide  support to irrigators:

• tracking soil water;

• estimating amount and timing of future irrigations;

• exploring irrigation strategies.

SWApp capability -dryland and irrigation

Brief note on applying SWApp in dryland and irrigation -four case studies

From Australian Cottongrower Dec 2016

SoilWaterApp (PPT)

A PowerPoint presentation demonstrating SoilWaterApp functions

Apps in decision making

Application of two decision support tools (CliMate and SWApp) in decision making.

Presented at 18th Australian Cotton Conference Gold Coast 2016

Soil water principles (PPT)

A PowerPoint presentation of soil water principles with examples mainly from the northern region.

Soil water principles

A note describing principles of rainfall capture and storage.

Supported by experimental data, mainly from the northern grain growing region.

Soil water sensors

A review of devices for measuring soil moisture for use with the SoilWaterApp

Brett Robinson 2015

Sharing rain data

Rain data can be accessed from several sources and shared

Installing a BlueTooth rain gauge

Notes on linking a BlueTooth rain gauge to SWApp.

These BlueTooth gauges are in prototype testing with ~30 deployed across Australia.

Pending feedback, a manufacturer will be sought (probably not until late 2017)

Export-import rainfall data

It can be useful to import and export rainfall data from SWApp. Exporting allows you to share data with other applications and view it in a more familiar format. Importing allows you to use rainfall data collected from other sources for use in SWApp

Using SWApp with a BlueTooth soil water sensor

Draft report comparing SWApp estimates of surface layers soil water with measuremenst from Decagon soil water sensors connected to a four channel version of the BlueTooth rain gauge and soil water sensor logger.

Administering information in SWApp

Note on capability in the Administration section of for managing:-

  • App data (soil and crop descriptions)
  • users
  • analytics

Testing SWApp (draft)

Detailed testing the water balance model on datasets from Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia.

SWApp predicts soil water well within the errors of measurements.

Field variability in soil water

An analysis of spatial and temporal variability in soil water and PAWC from three long term field studies

Conceptualisation and planning notes

Notes on the planning phase of SWApp including an analysis of where SWApp might fit in with other approaches and decision support tools

Monitoring soil water made easy

Documenting SWApp's ability to estimate soil water -Agronomy Conference 2017 Ballarat.

Testing SWApp (Conf. paper)

Testing SWApps ability to estimate change in soil water -Agronomy Confernce 2017 Ballarat

PERFECT (1989)

Model (v3) manual documenting water balance code used in Howleaky? and SoilWaterApp.