Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Application of the Swat Model to Determine the Environmental Sustainability of Feedstock Production of Biofuels in Hawaii

Location: Grassland, Soil and Water Research Laboratory

2011 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
The overall objective of the project is to maximize bioenergy biomass stability and yield. However, production should be maximized while minimizing environmental impacts at watershed scale. Results from this agreement will determine the environmental impacts of various production strategies and suggest management that will maximize production while minimizing environmental impacts.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
1) Apply SWAT to the island of Maui, focusing detail on the watersheds that supply water to the existing canal system, using readily available soils, precipitation, sugar cane management, and yield data. 2) Assemble all existing rainfall and temperature data for the island of Maui and use the PRISM model to create a high resolution grid of precipitation and temperature. PRISM accounts for elevation, aspect, and slope when creating the interpolated grid. 3) Verify environmental impacts of optimal-yield sugarcane management practices via on-the-ground monitoring. Use existing USGS stream flow gages and water quality data collected in this study to calibrate and validate SWAT. 4) With the calibrated model, simulate alternative agronomic management of additional fields, including changing feedstocks, and nutrient and water management. Determine water supply and water quality impacts of the various alternatives.


3.Progress Report

The Navy's dependence on oil strains operational planning. Its focus is on securing a sustainable fuel supply. ARS research and models will help determine how best to manage natural resources to allow Office of Naval Research (ONR) sustainability in fuel supply while also promoting ecological services and the local economy in Hawaii. Spatial data on meteorological station locations, elevation, land use, soils, stream network, canal network, dams/reservoirs, precipitation, temperature, and historical stream flow were assembled for SWAT and ALMANAC. Processing of hydrology and meteorology data was initiated for input to SWAT and ALMANAC, and estimates of fog contribution to hydrology on the windward side of Maui were collected. An Oregon State University cooperator was contacted to gain access to Parameter-elevation Regressions on Independent Slopes Model (PRISM) daily weather data. PRISM is a model that uses daily precipitation and temperature gauges, elevation, and aspect to generate spatially complete precipitation and temperature grids. A baseline SWAT model was developed without irrigation systems, detailed spatial weather data, or detailed crop management information. SWAT input files were restructured, and SWAT was modified to simulate different sub-basins using different processors within a single supercomputer, and ultimately on separate computers. The ADODR monitors progress through regular email and phone calls with the collaborator.


Last Modified: 7/30/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page