by Scott Smith
OFFICIALS in Tampa, Florida, got a surprise recently when a local firm building the state’s first ethanol-production factory put in a request for 400,000 gallons (1.5m litres) a day of city water. The request by US Envirofuels would make the facility one of the city’s top ten water consumers overnight, and the company plans to double its size.
Double it’s size? That’s 800,000 gallons of water a day. Apparently the typical ethanol production facility uses somewhere around 50 million gallons of water a year.
The article goes on to mention that the corn being grown for ethanol is already taxing the water supply since you have to irrigate those crops in a lot of the areas they are now being grown. So, water to irrigate the corn being used for ethanol and water to process said corn into that ethanol. Brilliant.