Title: Impact of bioenergy policy induced land use change on water quality under changing climate in the Northern Great Plains of the USA

Authors: Mengqi Xiong; Zhulu Lin; G. Padmanabhan

Addresses: HDR Inc., 17111 Preston Rd., Suite 200, Dallas, Texas 75248, USA ' Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, North Dakota State University, Dept. 7620, P.O. Box 6050, Fargo, North Dakota 58108, USA ' Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, North Dakota State University, Dept. 2470, P.O. Box 6050, Fargo, North Dakota 58108, USA

Abstract: Lake Ashtabula, located in the Northern Great Plains of the USA, has been listed as a nutrients-impaired water body by the United States Environmental Protection Agency with high priority to develop total maximum daily load (TMDL) reduction plans. The watershed draining into the lake is predominantly of agricultural land uses, which have changed considerably in recent years due to bioenergy policies. The region has also been experiencing a decade-long abnormally wet weather pattern since the early 1990s. A Soil and Water Assessment Tool model for Lake Ashtabula watershed was developed and calibrated to estimate annual sediment and nutrient loads into Lake Ashtabula under different land use and climate scenarios. The model could be used further for developing sediment and nutrient TMDLs for Lake Ashtabula and for identifying contributing areas targeted for watershed management and lake water quality improvement.

Keywords: bioenergy policy; climate change; eutrophication; land use change; Northern Great Plains; nonpoint source pollution; SWAT; total maximum daily load; TMDL; water quality; watershed modelling.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGENVI.2018.095164

International Journal of Global Environmental Issues, 2018 Vol.17 No.4, pp.364 - 390

Received: 13 Feb 2017
Accepted: 04 Mar 2018

Published online: 01 Oct 2018 *

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