Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Ethanol boom creates water use dilemma

Water use might be the biggest dilemma for dry areas like western Kansas when it comes to corn ethanol. This article points out that the extra water for irrigating corn may be more critical than water use at ethanol biorefineries. The best solution would be tapping cellulosic ethanol crops like grasses and wheat straw that take much less water. Even starch and sugar crops like wheat grain, barley, grain sorghum, sweet sorghum, and Jerusalem Artichokes take much less water than corn does. Some of them are high yielding as well. -- Jeff G.
Ethanol boom creates dilemma for farmers and small towns | LJWorld.com: "“That’s what’s really going to kill the water situation here,” says Brakey, a businessman from nearby Dodge City. “The amount of water it will take to irrigate all that corn.”"

1 comment:

lbrice said...

This is one of the things that makes me doubt of the benefits of ethanol, at least in its current distilling method. It seems that, for the energy you get out of it, plus the environmental implications of use of water in areas with not so much of it, the case is not clear cut.
Let´s hope that advances in cellulosic ethanol go fast, now that some real money is starting to pour in.