5 years ago

Hydrologic and water quality impacts of biofuel feedstock production in the Ohio River Basin

May Wu, Yonas Demissie, Eugene Yan
This study addresses the uncertainties related to potential changes in land use and management and associated impacts on hydrology and water quality resulting from increased production of biofuel from the conventional and cellulosic feedstock. The Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was used to assess the impacts on regional and field scale evapotranspiration, soil moisture content, stream flow, sediment, and nutrient loadings in the Ohio River Basin. The model incorporates spatially and temporally detailed hydrologic, climate and agricultural practice data that are pertinent to simulate biofuel feedstock production, watershed hydrology and water quality. Three future biofuel production scenarios in the region were considered, including a feedstock projection from the DOE Billion-Ton (BT2) Study, a change in corn rotations to continuous corn, and harvest of 50% corn stover. The impacts were evaluated on the basis of relative changes in hydrology and water quality from historical baseline and future business-as-usual conditions of the basin. The overall impact on water quality is an order of magnitude higher than the impact on hydrology. For all the three future scenarios, the sub-basin results indicated an overall increase in annual evapotranspiration of up to 6%, a decrease in runoff up to 10% and minimal change in soil moisture. The sediment and phosphorous loading at both regional and field levels increased considerably (up to 40–90%) for all the biofuel feedstock scenario considered, while the nitrogen loading increased up to 45% in some regions under the BT2 Study scenario, decreased up to 10% when corn are grown continuously instead of in rotations, and changed minimally when 50% of the stover are harvested. Field level analyses revealed significant variability in hydrology and water quality impacts that can further be used to identify suitable locations for the feedstock productions without causing major impacts on water quantity and quality.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12466

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.