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Water 2018, 10(2), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10020148

A First Estimation of County-Based Green Water Availability and Its Implications for Agriculture and Bioenergy Production in the United States

and
*
Energy Systems Division, Argonne National Laboratory, 9700 S. Cass Ave, Lemont, IL 60439, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 November 2017 / Revised: 20 January 2018 / Accepted: 25 January 2018 / Published: 2 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Water Footprint Assessment)
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Abstract

Green water is vital for the terrestrial ecosystem, but water resource assessment often focuses on blue water. In this study, we estimated green water availability for major crops (i.e., corn, soybean, and wheat) and all other users (e.g., forest, grassland, and ecosystem services) at the county level in the United States. We estimated green water resources from effective rain (ER) using three different methods: Smith, U.S. Department of Agriculture—Soil Conservation Service (USDA-SCS), and the NHD plus V2 dataset. The analysis illustrates that, if green water meets all crop water demands, the fraction of green water resources available to all other users varies significantly across regions, from the Northern Plains (0.71) to the Southeast (0.98). At the county level, this fraction varies from 0.23 to 1.0. Green water resources estimated using the three different ER methods present diverse spatiotemporal distribution patterns across regions, which could affect green water availability estimates. The water availability index for green water (WAI_R) was measured taking into account crop water demand and green water resources aggregated at the county level. Beyond these parameters, WAI_R also depends on the precipitation pattern, crop type and spatially differentiated regions. In addition, seasonal analysis indicated that WAI_R is sensitive to the temporal boundary of the analysis. View Full-Text
Keywords: green water availability; effective rain; crop water demand; water resources green water availability; effective rain; crop water demand; water resources
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Xu, H.; Wu, M. A First Estimation of County-Based Green Water Availability and Its Implications for Agriculture and Bioenergy Production in the United States. Water 2018, 10, 148.

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