Water resources and biofuels big picture


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  • The challenge we face!
  • To meet this demand, our lands must work.
  • Our current working lands are more than a bit dysfunctional. We are degrading water upon which human require for survival.
  • In Iowa in 2007, land equivalent to 25% of Iowa corn and soybean acreage eroded at rates 20 – 100 times faster than soil forms.
  • Water scarcity is a signal relative to sustainability of water resources in a given area.
  • 90% of water consumption is for agriculture and 2/3 of water withdrawals are for Ag.In parts of Pakistan water tables are falling 1 – 2 meters per year (Lester Brown, 2005).Irrigated land ad very high production AND equally or more important production stability.
  • American Farmland Trust estimates US farmland conversion of 23 million acres since mid 1970’s
  • Water resources and biofuels big picture

    1. 1. The BIG Picture – How Do Biofuels Fit In? Rick Cruse Iowa State University
    2. 2. Future Bioeconomy and ItsImpacts on Water (and soil) Resources Do we have the scientific knowledge to identify acceptable feedstock management? Can we balance energy needs, financial interests, and water/soil conservation in the bioenergy industry?
    3. 3. Millennium Ecosystem AssessmentReport During the next 50 years, demand for food crops is projected to grow by 70–85% under the MA scenarios, and demand for water by between 30% and 85%.
    4. 4. Working Lands Our agricultural lands must work.
    5. 5. Current Working Lands & Water QualityCurrent working agricultural lands sacrifice water quality.
    6. 6. Current Working Land and Soil Erosion 2007Cox, Craig, Andrew Hug, and Nils Bruzelius. 2011. Losing Ground. Environmental Working Group. Available at:http://static.ewg.org/reports/2010/losingground/pdf/losingground_report.pdf
    7. 7. Oki, Taikan and Shinjiro Kanae. 2006. Global hydrological cycles and world water resources. Science. 313:1068-1072Published by AAAS
    8. 8. Irrigation ~ 40% of world food comes from 18% of world’s cropland1  India 3/5 of grain harvest  China 4/5 of grain harvest 1W Danielle Nierenberg, Linda Starke and Erik Assadourian. 2007 State of the World – 2006. World Watch Institute.
    9. 9. Countries over-pumping aquifers in 2005 and population (million) China India Iran Isreal Jordan Mexico Moracco Pakistan 1,316 1,103 70 7 6 107 31 158 S. Arabia S. Korea Spain Syria Tunesia U.S Yemen Total 25 48 43 19 10 291 21 3,262Brown, Lester (Lead Author);Brian Black, Galal Hassan Galal Hussein (Topic Editor) "Aquifer depletion".In: Encyclopedia of Earth. Eds. Cutler J. Cleveland (Washington, D.C.: Environmental InformationCoalition, National Council for Science and the Environment). [First published in the Encyclopedia ofEarth January 23, 2010; Last revised Date March 22, 2011; Retrieved March 13, 2012http://www.eoearth.org/article/Aquifer_depletion
    10. 10. Precipitation minus Evaporation for Western US (25N-40N, 95W-125 W)R. Seager, et al. 2007. Model Projections of an Imminent Transition to a MoreArid Climate in Southwestern North America. Science, Vol. 316. no. 5828, pp.1181 - 1184
    11. 11. Land Resources
    12. 12. Globally, 25% of agricultural land is considered highlydegraded such that livelihoods have beencompromised, production capacity has been seriouslydiminished, and opportunities to renovate are limited ornonexistent. FAO. 2011. State of the world’s land and water resources for food and agriculture. Summary Report. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Rome
    13. 13. U.S. Agricultural Land Conversion
    14. 14. Six million acres eroded at 20 – 100 times the soil renewal rate in 2007.Cox, Craig, Andrew Hug, and Nils Bruzelius. 2011. Losing Ground. Environmental Working Group. Available at:http://static.ewg.org/reports/2010/losingground/pdf/losingground_report.pdf
    15. 15. “One of the clearest trendsin the United Statesobservational record is anincreasing frequency andintensity of heavyprecipitation events…Over the last century therewas a 50% increase in thefrequency of days withprecipitation over 101.6mm (four inches) in theupper midwestern U.S.;this trend is statisticallysignificant “ Karl, T. R., J. M. Melillo, and T. C. Peterson, (eds.), 2009: Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States. Cambridge University Press, 2009, 196pp.
    16. 16. Cedar Rapids Data
    17. 17. Cedar Rapids Data 1.25 inches4.2 days 6.6 days 57% increase
    18. 18. Cedar Rapids Data 1.25 inches Years having more 13 than 8 days2 4.2 days 6.6 days 57% increase
    19. 19. Big Picture Demand for Energy increasing Demand for food and water increasing Biofuels must compete with food production for land and water resources in a world with  Greater climate variability  Production impacts  Water and soil impacts  Soil and water degradation problems  Political environment less stable than climate