Watershed

Oral

397891 - Hydrologic impacts of developing Oil Palm for bioenergy in Tabasco, Mexico

Tuesday, June 5
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Greenway IJ
Co-Authors: David Watkins, Houghton – Michigan Tech; Alex Mayer, Houghton – Michigan Technological University

There is growing interest in bioenergy-related projects in the Americas as a result of increasing demand for biomass derived fuels. With an increase in biofuel production, there may be significant impacts on hydrological processes, but limited work has been done to quantify these changes and predict other environmental consequences. Accordingly, the main goal of this research is to study how developing bioenergy projects may affect hydrological systems at a watershed scale, with a case study of biofuel feedstock production with oil palm cultivation in a humid watershed in southern Tabasco, Mexico. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was calibrated, validated and applied to predict land use change impacts for several biofuel development scenarios. These scenarios include location of the biofuel feedstock, planting density, and rotation time. These variables are found to impact the magnitude and timing of runoff, baseflow, and sediment discharge. Preliminary results indicate that intensive oil palm development will increase evapotranspiration and decrease water and sediment yield. However, hydrologic impacts are expected to be sensitive to management practices such as fertilization and planting density. The model will be applied to evaluate tradeoffs in biomass production and hydrologic impacts resulting from different management practices.

Keywords: Biofuel; Soil and Water Assessment Tool; Oil Palm; Baseflow; Evapotranspiration

Azad Heidari, PhD Candidate

Research Assisstant
Michigan Technological University

Im a PhD Candidate at Michigan Technological University in Civil Engineering- Water Resources.
My research includes watershed modeling and studying the hydrological impacts of biofuel development across Americas.
I use hydrolgical modeling tools (SWAT) and Geographical Information System (ArcMap) mostly for my research.

I have two Master's degrees: Civil Engineering- Water resources from Michigan Tech
Irrigation and Drainage Engineering from University of Tehran

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397891 - Hydrologic impacts of developing Oil Palm for bioenergy in Tabasco, Mexico



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