skip to main content

Search for: All records

Award ID contains: 1639458

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Abstract

    Irrigated agriculture in snow-dependent regions contributes significantly to global food production. This study quantifies the impacts of climate change on irrigated agriculture in the snow-dependent Yakima River Basin (YRB) in the Pacific Northwest United States. Here we show that increasingly severe droughts and temperature driven reductions in growing season significantly reduces expected annual agricultural productivity. The overall reduction in mean annual productivity also dampens interannual yield variability, limiting yield-driven revenue fluctuations. Our findings show that farmers who adapt to climate change by planting improved crop varieties may potentially increase their expected mean annaul productivity in an altered climate, but remain strongly vulnerable to irrigation water shortages that substantially increase interannual yield variability (i.e., increasing revenue volatility). Our results underscore the importance for crop adaptation strategies to simultaneously capture the biophysical effects of warming as well as the institutional controls on water availability.

  2. Abstract

    Phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) are essential nutrients for food production but their excess use in agriculture can have major social costs, particularly related to water quality degradation. Nutrient footprint approaches estimate N and P release to the environment through food production and waste management and enable linking these emissions to particular consumption patterns. Following an established method for quantifying a consumer-oriented N footprint for the United States (U.S.), we calculate an analogous P footprint and assess the N:P ratio across different stages of food production and consumption. Circa 2012, the average consumer’s P footprint was 4.4 kg P capita−1yr−1compared to 22.4 kg N capita−1yr−1for the food portion of the N footprint. Animal products have the largest contribution to both footprints, comprising >70% of the average per capita N and P footprints. The N:P ratio of environmental release based on virtual nutrient factors (kilograms N or P per kilogram of food consumed) varies considerably across food groups and stages. The overall N:P ratio of the footprints was lower (5.2 by mass) than for that of U.S. food consumption (8.6), reinforcing our finding that P is managed less efficiently than N in food production systems but more efficiently removed frommore »wastewater. While strategies like reducing meat consumption will effectively reduce both N and P footprints by decreasing overall synthetic fertilizer nutrient demands, consideration of how food production and waste treatment differentially affect N and P releases to the environment can also inform eutrophication management.

    « less
  3. The rapid growth of demand in agricultural production has created water scarcity issues worldwide. Simultaneously, climate change scenarios have projected that more frequent and severe droughts are likely to occur. Adaptive water resources management has been suggested as one strategy to better coordinate surface water and groundwater resources (i.e., conjunctive water use) to address droughts. In this study, we enhanced an aggregated water resource management tool that represents integrated agriculture, water, energy, and social systems. We applied this tool to the Yakima River Basin (YRB) in Washington State, USA. We selected four indicators of system resilience and sustainability to evaluate four adaptation methods associated with adoption behaviors in alleviating drought impacts on agriculture under RCP4.5 and RCP 8.5 climate change scenarios. We analyzed the characteristics of four adaptation methods, including greenhouses, crop planting time, irrigation technology, and managed aquifer recharge as well as alternating supply and demand dynamics to overcome drought impact. The results show that climate conditions with severe and consecutive droughts require more financial and natural resources to achieve well-implemented adaptation strategies. For long-term impact analysis, managed aquifer recharge appeared to be a cost-effective and easy-to-adopt option, whereas water entitlements are likely to get exhausted during multiple consecutivemore »drought events. Greenhouses and water-efficient technologies are more effective in improving irrigation reliability under RCP 8.5 when widely adopted. However, implementing all adaptation methods together is the only way to alleviate most of the drought impacts projected in the future. The water resources management tool helps stakeholders and researchers gain insights in the roles of modern inventions in agricultural water cycle dynamics in the context of interactive multi-sector systems.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 20, 2023
  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2023
  5. The speed and uncertainty of environmental change in the Anthropocene challenge the capacity of coevolving social–ecological–technological systems (SETs) to adapt or transform to these changes. Formal government and legal structures further constrain the adaptive capacity of our SETs. However, new, self-organized forms of adaptive governance are emerging at multiple scales in natural resource-based SETs. Adaptive governance involves the private and public sectors as well as formal and informal institutions, self-organized to fill governance gaps in the traditional roles of states. While new governance forms are emerging, they are not yet doing so rapidly enough to match the pace of environmental change. Furthermore, they do not yet possess the legitimacy or capacity needed to address disparities between the winners and losers from change. These emergent forms of adaptive governance appear to be particularly effective in managing complexity. We explore governance and SETs as coevolving complex systems, focusing on legal systems to understand the potential pathways and obstacles to equitable adaptation. We explore how governments may facilitate the emergence of adaptive governance and promote legitimacy in both the process of governance despite the involvement of nonstate actors, and its adherence to democratic values of equity and justice. To manage the contextual naturemore »of the results of change in complex systems, we propose the establishment of long-term study initiatives for the coproduction of knowledge, to accelerate learning and synergize interactions between science and governance and to foster public science and epistemic communities dedicated to navigating transitions to more just, sustainable, and resilient futures.

    « less
  6. Frequent droughts, seasonal precipitation, and growing agricultural water demand in the Yakima River Basin (YRB), located in Washington State, increase the challenges of optimizing water provision for agricultural producers. Increasing water storage through managed aquifer recharge (MAR) can potentially relief water stress from single and multi-year droughts. In this study, we developed an aggregated water resources management tool using a System Dynamics (SD) framework for the YRB and evaluated the MAR implementation strategy and the effectiveness of MAR in alleviating drought impacts on irrigation reliability. The SD model allocates available water resources to meet instream target flows, hydropower demands, and irrigation demand, based on system operation rules, irrigation scheduling, water rights, and MAR adoption. Our findings suggest that the adopted infiltration area for MAR is one of the main factors that determines the amount of water withdrawn and infiltrated to the groundwater system. The implementation time frame is also critical in accumulating MAR entitlements for single-year and multi-year droughts mitigation. In addition, adoption behaviors drive a positive feedback that MAR effectiveness on drought mitigation will encourage more MAR adoptions in the long run. MAR serves as a promising option for water storage management and a long-term strategy for MAR implementationmore »can improve system resilience to unexpected droughts.« less