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Integrated solutions to maintain dairy production resilience under six different future scenarios in a regional food, energy, and water systems analysis.

M. E. de Haro Martí

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06-23-2020

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Abstract:

T75
Integrated solutions to maintain dairy production resilience under six different future scenarios in a regional food, energy, and water systems analysis.
M. E. de Haro Martí*1, J. Wilson1, S. Elmer2, P. Williams3, A. Kliskey3. 1University of Idaho Gooding, ID, 2University of Idaho Twin Falls, ID, 3University of Idaho Moscow, ID.

Using the Magic Valley (MV), Idaho, as our case study of the integration of food, energy, and water systems (FEWS), we co-developed future scenarios and over 90 integrated solutions with local stakeholders. Agriculture and dairy production and processing are primary economic drivers in this system. Water from the Upper Snake River Basin supplies irrigated crops, cities, dairies and processors. All agriculture in the MV is irrigated. Idaho is the fourth largest dairy producing state in the USA and 73% of the dairy cows in Idaho are in the MV. We tested the resilience of the MV under 6 different scenarios of changing climate, demographics, adoption of resource recovery technologies, adoption of BMPs, and socio-economic development. Stakeholders and researchers explored reactions of the system to each scenario, and plausible integrated solutions to maintain the resilience of the FEWS. Watershed dynamics were modeled, as well as the impact of the different drivers on water availability, quality, and its impact on the rest of the FEWS. We describe 6 scenarios and the top 5 solutions per scenario that are pertinent to the dairy industry and could allow it to maintain resilience. Some of the scenarios would greatly impact dairies, including a mega drought, or drastic changes in demographics and economic activity. Under other scenarios the dairy industry thrives. In general, dairy can maintain a good level of resilience within the FEWS but may need to implement drastic solutions to be able to maintain its operations and economic viability, reduce environmental impacts, and adapt to new realities depending on the scenario. Solutions include changing feed crops, adopting several operation efficiencies like changes in breed selection or cow longevity and heifer replacement variations, type of dairy facilities, and implementation of BMPs and technologies for manure and nutrient management.

Keywords: food, energy, and water systems (FEWS), dairy resilience, sustainability.