2019 CSDMS meeting-108

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A Coupled Simulation of the Food-Energy-Water Nexus for Farm Income Analysis: An Agent-Based Approach Applied to Western Kansas

Jirapat Phetheet, University of Kansas Lawrence Kansas, United States. jirapat.p@ku.edu
Wade Heger, University of Kansas Lawrence Kansas, United States. wheger@ku.edu
Mary Hill, University of Kansas Lawrence Kansas, United States. mchill@ku.edu


In many areas of the world, the environment has been engineered to reduce variability (increase robustness) for human development. As much of the agricultural land in the middle US is located in arid and semi-arid regions, agricultural practices depend on irrigation. Since the 1960’s thousands of fields are watered using center pivot irrigation, each of which requires about 800 gpm (4,361 m3/day) (New and Fipps, 2017). Groundwater supported irrigation was dependable for decades, but now many areas of the High Plains aquifer, which is partly composed of the Ogallala aquifer, is at risk of depletion, and farming is facing difficult circumstances. On the positive side, western Kansas has very high potential capacity for wind power production, but opportunities to use this locally produced energy to improve prospects for the farming community face scientific and engineering challenges and, communities are not aware of many potentially promising alternatives. The Food-Energy-Water calculator (FEW) is a tool designed to introduce new alternatives to these communities and the scientists, engineers, and governmental entities who support them. In this study, Agent-Based Modeling (ABM) is used to coordinate the many types of actors, information and alternatives relevant to this problem. For more creative agricultural scenarios, a crop model called Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT) can be used to calculate crop yields and income. The resulting ABM based FEW calculator provides a more realistic and effective framework for managing the complexity between the human and natural system dynamics.