Brazilian Sugarcane Expansion and the Impacts on Water Resources: An Overview
Hernandes, T.A.D., Scarpare, F.V., Picoli, M.C.A., Leal, M.R.L.V., Duft, D.G., Seabra, J.E.A.
This study aimed to bring an overview of the impacts on water resources driven by sugarcane expansion in Brazil. Brazilian context on water resources and sugarcane expansion are presented and studies concerning sugarcane expansion impacts on water resources in Brazil are reviewed. The use of the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to assess impacts due to LUC in watersheds were also appraised to understand its potential in assess those impacts. Expansion occurred mostly over pasture and annual crops, towards São Paulo state and Cerrado areas in Paraná hydrographic region. This hydrographic region demands research and public policies on this subject to assure water supply. In Brazil, impacts on water resources were generally addressed in a qualitative way. More conclusive answers are possibly linked to assessment at basin level, considering specific classes of LUC and addressing most of the hydrological processes. SWAT appears to generate reliable results in this subject. Besides the available documentation and the open source code, another advantage of this model lies on the capacity of integrating different water balance components at the same time and space, enabling a combined assessment of the effects of LUC on the evapotranspiration, crop yield, stream flow, precipitation, runoff, among others.
water availability, land use change, sugarcane ethanol, water balance, hydrological modelling
Biomass Policies, Markets and Sustainability
Environmental impacts of bioenergy
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