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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

Project Number: 3098-13610-007-07
Project Type: Specific Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jan 15, 2011
End Date: Jan 14, 2016

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.

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.

Last Modified: 11/30/2015
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