Water Implications of Biofuels Production in the United States

Water Implications of Biofuels Production in the United States

If projected increases in the use of corn for ethanol production bear out, the harm to water quality nationwide could be considerable, a new report from the National Research Council finds. The report, Water Implications of Biofuels Production in the United States (69 pages, PDF), examines a range of policy options and identifies opportunities for new agricultural technologies that have the potential to minimize the effects of biofuel production on water resources. Funded in part by the McKnight and Energy foundations, the study also found that a shift to greater corn production and the expansion of biofuel crops into marginal agricultural regions could change current irrigation practices and greatly increase pressure on water resources in many parts of the United States.