Because root water uptake is a considerable component in the soil water balance, a lot of attention has been paid to defining and applying root water uptake models. These models can be grouped into empirical vs. mechanistic root uptake models. Intermodel comparisons are valuable in understanding the different concepts used. Such a comparison is sometimes difficult because the level of information required by the models is different, for example, information on the root length density distribution. Here a three-dimensional root length density distribution function is introduced that makes it possible to compare two empirical uptake models with a more mechanistic uptake model. Adding a compensation component to the more empirical model results in prediction of root water uptake distributions in the root zone similar to those predicted by the more complex model.