carbon-capture wetland farming - Restore America's Estuaries

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carbon-capture wetland farming - Restore America's Estuaries

The Scientific and Economic Viability ofCarbon-Capture Wetland Farming in theSacramento-San Joaquin DeltaEDFBelinda MorrisUSGSBrian Bergamaschi,Roger Fujii,Robin Millerand theOrganic CarbonResearch Groupin Cooperation with theCA Department ofWater ResourcesU.S. Department of the InteriorU.S. Geological Survey


Wetland PerformanceLand Surface Change (in)20151050-5-10BIOMASS ACCRETIONPROBABLE SUBSIDENCE1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 20062008Submerged about 1 ftLow oxygen conditionsBalance between plantgrowth and reduceddecompositionWetlands replace lost peat soils,reversing subsidence,rebuilding land surfaceWetlands eliminate current GHGemissions of CO 2 and N 2 O.~25 metric tons of CO 2 per acreyearare captured by plantgrowth and preserved


Wetland Farms?Carbon Dioxide (metric tons per acre)50403020100-10-20PrairieForestMarshTwitchellWetlandDelta CornIs it possible to place GHGbenefits in Carbon Offsetprograms?Could yield benefits better thanexisting bio-sequestrationprograms.Multiple BenefitsMAJOR– Reduces current GHG emissions– Large bio-sequestration potential– Potentially provides income to landownerthrough Carbon MarketANCILLARY– Preserves agricultural communities– Improves water quality by trapping nutrients– Stabilizes levees by reducing hydrostaticpressure– Provides habitat– May permit reopening of these wetlands inthe future to tidal action.Major Unknowns– Baseline emissions– Wetland emissions - lifetime– Variability– How to verify performanceProblems– Methyl mercury production– Dissolved organic carbon release


wetland construction costsWETLAND PER-ACRE COST SCENARIOWETLAND ELEMENT LOW MEDIUM HIGHEconomy of scale / wetland size Large Medium SmallEngineering Costs (%) 10% 12.5% 15%Wetland shape Square 1.5:1 rectangle 2:1 rectangleComplexity of installation on landscape:Extent of leveling Minimal Some MostExtent of perimeter berms None 1 side 4 sidesExtent of plumbing infrastructure Moderate Moderate HighExtent of island infrastructure protection Least Moderate MostAnnual O&MPeriodic raising of berms Least Moderate MostIrrigation Moderate Moderate HighContingency 10% 20% 35%


wetland productionWETLAND PRODUCTION PERIOD AND WETLAND COST SCENARIOCOST CATEGORY 20-YR. 10-YR.LOW MEDIUM HIGH LOW MEDIUM HIGHTOTAL CARBON CREDITS PRODUCED PER ACRE IN AMORTIZATION PERIOD (Mt CO2e) 1Establishment, yr 1 0 0 0 0 0 0Emission reductions: 100%, yr 2-5 50 50 50 50 50 50Ramping-up production, yr 2-5 25 25 25 25 25 25Full production, yr 6+ 375 375 375 125 125 125TOTAL CARBON CREDITS 450 450 450 200 200 200PRODUCTION COSTS PER CARBON CREDIT ($/Mt CO2e) 2Establishment costs $1.35 $1.72 $3.00 $3.03 $3.86 $6.74Annual operations costs (discounted to 2010) $7.57 $7.97 $8.67 $8.87 $9.33 $10.15TOTAL COST PER CARBON CREDIT $8.92 $9.68 $11.66 $11.90 $13.19 $16.89TOTAL PER ACRE COST/YEAR $201 $218 $262 $238 $264 $3381. Assumes zero carbon credits year 0-1, avoided emissions reductions begin year 1+2. Carbon verification costs not included


eakeven carbon price$25Breakeven Price of Carbon over10-year Production Periodlow cost medium cost high cost$20$15$10$5$0$20 $20$17$16$15 $15$13$13$12$10$9 $9$8$6$5$4$2$1Farmer Grant Loan Investor CREP1 CREP2


carbon vs. cropsMedium Cost Wetland Scenario$5/tCO2e $20/tCO2e corn tomatoes$400total net revenue ($/acre)$300$200$100$0-$100-$200-$166$90-$89$167-$200$56$34-$27$229$63$319$38$187-$300-$266farmer grant loan investor CREP1 CREP2 crops


multiple benefits• Land accretion• Climate mitigation/adaptation• Water supply security• Habitat


Sacramento-San Joaquin DeltaThe Delta as Conveyance1Sac River2SanJoaquinRiverSWP PumpsCVP Pumps


Thank youBrian Bergamaschi, USGSbbergama@usgs.govBelinda Morris, EDFbmorris@edf.org

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