Even after all our interminable rants about the silliness of ethanol from corn, we have found yet another thing to complain about. It seems that besides fossil fuel, pesticides, and corn, making it also uses a lot of water, 4.5 gallons per gallon of ethanol produced. There are concerns that this is not being taken into account when planning ethanol plants. Richard Cruse, director of the Iowa Water Center at Iowa State University, pointed to potential conflicts when the ethanol industry seeks to use the same pure water that people drink and give to their livestock.
"I'm not suggesting they're maniacs running wild not thinking about water, But with the industry growing so fast and drawing so much water, it can become a risk issue. When we go for three, four or five months with shallow aquifers being drawn down to the point where we have to limit or ration high-quality water, who has the priority?"