Project Title: Use of Alternative Water Sources for Bioenergy Crops Production in Arid Regions of the U.S.
Principal Investigators and affiliations:
PI: Dr. Girisha Ganjegunte (Texas Agrilife Research Center, Texas A&M University)
Co-PI: Dr. Yanqi Wu (Oklahoma State University)
Co-PI: Dr. April Ulery (New Mexico State University)
Co-PI: Dr. Genhua Niu (Texas A&M University System)
Co-PI: Dr. Chenggang Wang (Texas Tech University)
Start Date: 7/1/2011 End Date: 6/30/2014
Project outcomes evaluate and demonstrate the potential for marginal quality water irrigation to produce bioenergy crops on lands with suitable soils. Deliverables include salinity tolerance and performance of bioenergy crops (switchgrass, sorghum, miscanthus, sunflower, safflower, castor, camelina, and canola), soil quality changes, potential for groundwater salinization and economic feasibility under marginal quality water irrigation. The results of this study will be useful in developing suitable salinity management practices for sustainable bioenergy crop yields. Project outcomes directly benefit potential bioenergy crop growers, water managers, policy makers, and the public of the region. The results of this study would be transferable to other arid regions confronting water and energy shortage, thereby enabling the use of alternative sources of water for bioenergy crops production.