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Air, Water and Soils




The Air, Water and Soiltopiarea aims to develop technologies for conserving and protecting air, water and soiresources while sustaining optimal farm and forest productivity. Climatvariability and food security armajor focal pointothitopic area.  Effortarneeded treduce thd production of greenhousgases tharesulfrom agriculturaactivities and to increase carbon sequestration in soils. Climate change ilikelto alter temperature and precipitation patterns and new technologiearneeded thawilbetter enable plant and animal production systems to adapt to changing climatic conditions.  As population continues tincrease food securitwilbe critical as effortfor food production to keep pace wilincreasingly become a challenge.  Soil and water arcritical resources thaimpact food production. New technologieare needed that will improvwater quality and conservation and use watemore efficiently.  We also need new technologies that will improve soil quality and fertility and reduce soil erosion.


To meet these identified needs of agriculture, the programs long-tergoals (10 yearsarto achieve improved air quality and improved utilization owater resources that are better able to sustain production agriculture; better use of limited wateresources foagriculture through improved irrigation technologies; a more sustained soil resource through reduced soil erosion and thereby lead to more productive agriculture; and improved soiqualitthat will permit a more sustainable and productive agriculture.


FY2016 Research Priorities:


Examples of appropriate subtopics for research applicationfrom small businesses include, but are not limited to, thfollowing


1.   Water Quality and Conservation Develop new and improved technologies to optimizwater management conservation at both thfarlevel and at a watershed scale, monitothe quality of surface water and groundwater resources fobiotiand abiotic pollutants, including animal manure and pharmaceuticals, develop improved methods fothe reuse owastewater, including the remediation and restoration of water resources that impact agriculture and forestry operations, and promotwatershed restoration.


2.   Irrigation Develop improved irrigation technologies for both farming and landscaping applications thawilprovide more efficient and cost-effective delivery of water and chemicals. Develop new irrigation methods that allow for morefficient use of wateincluding accurate delivery of wateto wherit is needed.


3.   SoiErosion Develop better methods fopreventing soil erosion by wind and surface water runoff and fomonitoring wind erosion and sediment transport.


4.   SoiQuality Develop netechnologies fomeasuring soiproperties, soinutrient content, and the physical and chemical naturof soil. Research new technologies that enhance soiproperties whilrestricting adverse environmental impact and develop improved methods tremediate degraded soils. 


5.   AiResourcesDevelop new and improved technologies to monitoaiqualitand reduce air pollution stemminfrom agricultural enterprises, including manures from livestock and poultry production systems.



Contact Dr. Charles Cleland, NPL for SBIR Forests and Related Resources at or (202) 401-6852 regarding questions about the topic area or to arrange a telephone consultation.

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