Submitted to: American Society of Agri Engineers Special Meetings and Conferences Papers
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: May 1, 2012
Publication Date: May 27, 2012
Citation: Bosch, D.D., Arnold, J.G., Kiniry, J.R., Vellidis, G., Srivastava, P. 2012. Watershed-scale impact of land-use changes for bioenergy production. In: Proceedings of the 2012 21st Century Watershed Technology Conference: Improving Water Quality and the Environment. Bari, Italy. May 27 - June 1, 2012. Paper No. 12-13658. 8 pp. Technical Abstract: USDA goals for meeting renewable fuels standards by 2022 indicate that 50% of the advanced biofuels to be produced in the U.S. are expected to come from the Southeastern U.S. High net primary productivity of the region from a favorable climate and productive soils make these goals attainable. Meeting these goals will require conversion of row-crops to high-yielding biomass crops. Although forest biomass is plentiful throughout the Southeast, it is recognized that significant land conversion to sustainable high-yielding herbaceous feedstocks will be needed for long-term renewable fuel production. Changes in water resources, both quantity and quality, are anticipated with these changes. Herbaceous feedstocks provide excellent ground cover, are believed to have lower water use requirements, and have high nitrogen use efficiency. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) will be used to examine the long-term impacts of these land-cover changes. It is hypothesized that land-use shifts towards these feedstocks will lead to improvements in water quality and greater water yield within Southeastern watersheds. Several scenarios will be examined to characterize these impacts as a function of greater land-use shift.