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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: INTEGRATION OF CLIMATE VARIABILITY AND FORECASTS INTO RISK-BASED MANAGEMENT TOOLS FOR AGRICULTURE PRODUCTION AND RESOURCE CONSERVATION

Location: Great Plains Agroclimate and Natural Resources Research Unit

Title: Climate change impacts on soil and water conservation

Authors
item GARBRECHT, JURGEN
item STEINER, JEAN
item Cox, Craig - SWCS

Submitted to: Trans American Geophysical Union
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 1, 2006
Publication Date: March 1, 2007
Citation: Garbrecht, J.D., Steiner, J.L., Cox, C. 2007. Climate change impacts on soil and water conservation. Trans American Geophysical Union. 88(11):136.

Interpretive Summary: A 2003 report of the Soil and Water Conservation Society concluded that changes in long-term precipitation may substantial impact runoff and soil erosion. These findings call for a review of current approaches to estimating runoff and soil erosion from agricultural lands, enhancements to soil and water planning tools, and strengthening of conservation practices and standards. This article reports on joint U.S.-Canada workshop "Planning for Extremes: Addressing Climate Change Impacts on Soil and Water Conservation". The workshop was held on November 1-3, 2006, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and consisted of commissioned white papers and discussion sessions. Invited participants represented U.S. and Canadian academic institutions, Federal and State agencies, environmental organizations, Canadian conservation authorities, and private land owners and farmers. Objectives were to review current soil and water conservation planning tools, approaches, and practices, and to make recommendations to enhance our ability to manage natural resources in agricultural watersheds under anticipated climate changes. Main discussion subjects were enhancement of upland erosion prediction, gully erosion estimation, use of a design storm, and watershed-scale conservation assessment. SWCS is developing specific recommendations to address each of these subjects and will produce a report by March 2007. It was also recognized that increasing our knowledge base and developing better soil erosion and sedimentation tools may not lead by itself to an increase in voluntary adoption of conservation practices. Implementation, socio-economic, and policy issues must also be taken into consideration.

Technical Abstract: A 2003 report of the Soil and Water Conservation Society concluded that changes in long-term precipitation may substantial impact runoff and soil erosion. These findings call for a review of current approaches to estimating runoff and soil erosion from agricultural lands, enhancements to soil and water planning tools, and strengthening of conservation practices and standards. This article reports on joint U.S.-Canada workshop "Planning for Extremes: Addressing Climate Change Impacts on Soil and Water Conservation". The workshop was held on November 1-3, 2006, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and consisted of commissioned white papers and discussion sessions. Invited participants represented U.S. and Canadian academic institutions, Federal and State agencies, environmental organizations, Canadian conservation authorities, and private land owners and farmers. Objectives were to review current soil and water conservation planning tools, approaches, and practices, and to make recommendations to enhance our ability to manage natural resources in agricultural watersheds under anticipated climate changes. Main discussion subjects were enhancement of upland erosion prediction, gully erosion estimation, use of a design storm, and watershed-scale conservation assessment. SWCS is developing specific recommendations to address each of these subjects and will produce a report by March 2007. It was also recognized that increasing our knowledge base and developing better soil erosion and sedimentation tools may not lead by itself to an increase in voluntary adoption of conservation practices. Implementation, socio-economic, and policy issues must also be taken into consideration.

Last Modified: 8/27/2014
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