Full Title: Corn Ethanol’s Threat to Water Resources
Author(s): N/A
Publisher(s): Union of Concerned Scientists
Publication Date: 10/2011


Pollution from corn farming is a leading cause of water quality problems in the Upper Mississippi River water-
shed, polluting drinking water in agricultural areas and degrading rivers and lakes, while also expanding the Gulf of Mexico’s “dead zone” (a large area deprived of oxygen). These problems—and their associated economic and health impacts—are exacerbated by government policies that increase demand for corn ethanol, in turn expanding U.S. corn production. Better agricultural practices that keep fertilizer out of freshwater can mitigate the water quality problems associated with corn cultivation and corn ethanol production, but if we want to protect water quality while also reducing U.S. oil dependence, biofuel production must move beyond corn to more diverse and environmentally friendly crops and waste materials.