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Water 2015, 7(7), 3283-3305; doi:10.3390/w7073283

Spatio-Temporal Impacts of Biofuel Production and Climate Variability on Water Quantity and Quality in Upper Mississippi River Basin

1
Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
2
Department of Environmental Engineering, S.J. College of Engineering, Mysore, Karnataka 570006, India
3
Shell Solutions Inc., Bangalore, Karnataka 560048, India
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Say-Leong Ong
Received: 28 January 2015 / Revised: 8 May 2015 / Accepted: 2 June 2015 / Published: 26 June 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Quality Control and Management)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1880 KB, uploaded 26 June 2015]   |  

Abstract

Impact of climate change on the water resources of the United States exposes the vulnerability of feedstock-specific mandated fuel targets to extreme weather conditions that could become more frequent and intensify in the future. Consequently, a sustainable biofuel policy should consider: (a) how climate change would alter both water supply and demand; and (b) in turn, how related changes in water availability will impact the production of biofuel crops; and (c) the environmental implications of large scale biofuel productions. Understanding the role of biofuels in the water cycle is the key to understanding many of the environmental impacts of biofuels. Therefore, the focus of this study is to model the rarely explored interactions between land use, climate change, water resources and the environment in future biofuel production systems. Results from this study will help explore the impacts of the US biofuel policy and climate change on water and agricultural resources. We used the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to analyze the water quantity and quality consequences of land use and land management related changes in cropping conditions (e.g., more use of marginal lands, greater residue harvest, increased yields), plus management practices due to biofuel crops to meet the Renewable Fuel Standard target on water quality and quantity. View Full-Text
Keywords: biofuel; water quality; Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) biofuel; water quality; Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Deb, D.; Tuppad, P.; Daggupati, P.; Srinivasan, R.; Varma, D. Spatio-Temporal Impacts of Biofuel Production and Climate Variability on Water Quantity and Quality in Upper Mississippi River Basin. Water 2015, 7, 3283-3305.

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