Wasting Water on Ethanol Amid California Drought

March 19, 2015

Californians are currently experiencing one of the worst and most persistent droughts on record. According to a recent NASA report, it’s so bad that the state’s water reservoirs could actually run dry in just one year’s time. As a result, strict water rationing could soon become a way of life for every Californian.

What’s the culprit? A joint study conducted by the Pacific Institute and University of California – Berkeley demonstrates that increased production of biofuels is almost entirely to blame for a four-fold increase in water demand in the state over the last two decades. In fact, it takes 1,700 gallons of water to produce just one gallon of the most ubiquitous biofuel, corn ethanol. That’s a lot of water.

In a time of extreme drought, wasting so much water to generate biofuels just doesn’t make sense. Nonetheless, policymakers in Washington demand it. Energy policy created at the federal level, specifically the Renewable Fuel Standard, demands that billions of gallons of biofuels like corn ethanol are produced each year with no regard for the enormous strain this puts on California's water resources.

Every drop of water counts in California. Click here to take action today by letting your representatives in Congress know that you demand common-sense reform to the federal ethanol mandate.