Presentation on theme: "Watershed Impacts Bob Broz - University of Missouri Roberta Dow - Michigan State University Eleanor Burkett - University of Minnesota."— Presentation transcript:
Watershed Impacts Bob Broz - University of Missouri Roberta Dow - Michigan State University Eleanor Burkett - University of Minnesota
Watershed Impacts Water Resources & Bioenergy Curriculum
Water Runs Downhill! Watershedarea of land that drains to a common point (lake, river, etc.). Watershed=area of land that drains to a common point (lake, river, etc.).
Industrial Water Use
How Much Water do We Need? A biofuel plant producing 100,000,000 gallons per year needs at least 400,000,000 gallons of water per year or million gallons per day. A poultry processing plant uses 2500 gallons per 1000 pounds of live weight processed. An average plant will process 240,000 broilers weighing 3-5 pounds per day and uses 2.4 million gallons of water per day
Plant-Cover Affects a Watershed Stream banks & slope
Bio-Mass Fuel Production Watershed Considerations Environmental Soil erosion/sedimentation Nutrient runoff Pesticide/herbicide runoff Others Sustainability Land improvement for long-term production Water quantity for production Others
Bioenergy Crop Production-- Watershed Quality Impact Considerations Bioenergy Crop Production-- Watershed Quality Impact Considerations From watershed protective land usage to less protective crop allowing more runoff, or less infiltration. From benign nutrient management to fertilizer usage which impacts groundwater and/or surface water To increased pesticide use and potential runoff. In conservation practices i.e. contour planting, buffer strips, etc. From watershed protective land usage to less protective crop allowing more runoff, or less infiltration. From benign nutrient management to fertilizer usage which impacts groundwater and/or surface water To increased pesticide use and potential runoff. In conservation practices i.e. contour planting, buffer strips, etc. Potential Changes:
Watershed Protective to Less Protective akes_waterquality_agrunoff.jpg Change of crop, less infiltration Crops requiring low inputs & allowing high infiltration R. Dow
Watershed Protection ns/stripcropping.html
Water Quality Concerns Nutrient runoff and leaching Pesticide runoff and leaching Erosion and sedimentation
Monitoring for Problem Identification Changes in runoff with bioenergy crops?
Sedimentation Impacts Field runoff and stream bank degradation can: – Create sediment buildups & destroy the aquatic habitat – Cause flooding
Land Management Impacts Conservation cover with crop residues can protect soil from eroding and causing a build up of sediment in streams
Marginal Land Conversion Impact Considerations – Lower economic productivity due to marginal soil usage – Increase soil erosion/sedimentation into surface water bodies & public drinking water reservoirs – Degrades community water storage structures – Increase costs since water contamination difficult/expensive to remove from environment – Change aquatic habitat &/or affect recreational economic bases (i.e. boating, fishing & swimming) May:
Farming Marginal Lands Nutrients: – Reduced crop production relative to the amount of fertilizer being applied – Low water holding capacity of marginal lands (decrease in the length of time plants have access to available nutrients) resulting in a decrease in crop product9ion ps/field/news/croppest/2007/12cpo07a4 eficiencyflowchart.pdf
Farming Marginal Lands Pesticides/Herbicides: – Lower water holding capacity of marginal lands results in poor crop growth – Increased weed competition may result in increased herbicide usage. – Higher erodibility of soils can cause higher pesticide runoff
Surface Water Concerns Excessive nutrient and soil runoff causes: – Increased algal growth and other organic materials in fresh water sources – Negative effects on recreational use of surface water bodies – Increased treatment costs for public drinking water resources Removal of excessive organics requires more chlorine to be added. This results in THMs and DBOs, both of which are linked to cancer THMs and DBPs must be removed before the water can be sent out though the distribution system
Nutrients Increase Plants
Converting CRP and Marginal Lands Conversion to energy crops Conversion away from ecosystem benefits such as bio-niches Conversion from pasture in many cases Use of highly erodible lands
Highly erodible sites require a higher level of management and in many cases should be placed in CRP or pasture.
Strip Cropping Buffer Areas Erosional Site
Proper use and width of grass field buffers can reduce sediment, nutrient and pesticide loss from fields.
Water Quantity Impacts
Crop Irrigation is the #1 use of groundwater in the U.S. Irrigation represents about 65 percent of total withdrawals (surface and groundwater). Surface water is the primary source. Agriculture accounts for 80% of the Nation's consumptive water use and over 90% in many Western States. Irrigation uses 40% of groundwater withdrawals
Irrigation Impacts Ogallala aquifer underlies parts of Nebraska, South Dakota, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas – Withdrawal rate is faster than the recharge rate – Some areas have exhausted their portion of the aquifer Monitoring of smaller aquifers in several states reveals that groundwater levels are declining. – The Ozark Plateau aquifer which underlies Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma shows that Missouri uses 87% of the water being drawn from section of the aquifer.
Conversion from Conventional Crop to Energy Crops Annual Crops—soybeans and corn are bioenergy crops but we may need to determine if they are the best suited for what we are looking for. Perennial crops —switch grass, and woody biomass crops are alternatives that may provide for better production and profit based on inputs, environmental factors and location.
Many powerplants are mixing present fuel sources with bioenergy crops. Corn cobs are used as a source of fuel in Columbia, Mo. OpportunityOpportunity
Establishing Bioenergy Crop Determine what type of bioenergy crop the land is suited for – are annuals such as corn and beans feasible or should switchgrass and other perennials be chosen. Regional variations occur based on climate, rainfall, soil types, slope and land owner attitudes. As with all new ventures – plan on a timeframe for learning how to do it, how to recognize needed changes and how to improve on it.
Benefits of Bioenergy Crops Any bioenergy crop can provide benefits to the soil and the environment if management practices are incorporated into the growing process and the crop is in the right location. Different practices promote different benefits so selection of practices should be done to meet the needs of the land owner and the environment. Perennial season bioenergy crops such as switchgrass produce deep root systems that can help with water infiltration and increase soil quality.
Benefits of Bioenergy Crops Can promote wildlife habitat Increased soil tilth (depending on crop) Reduce use of pesticides Reduce soil erosion Increase water infiltration into soil
Understanding how and where to establish specific bioenergy crops can increase productivity and profitability. Improvements in water and soil quality through proper management of the land is important in establishment of bioenergy crop Increased profitability, not production, is one of the keys to having a successful, managed bioenergy crop which meets the soil and climate conditions.