Greater cultivation of crops to produce ethanol could harm water quality and leave some regions of the country with water shortages, a panel of experts is reporting. . . .
. . .
But increased production could greatly increase pressure on water supplies for drinking, industry, hydropower, fish habitat and recreation, the report said. . . .
The research council, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences, issued the report yesterday. It is available at the academy’s Web site, nas.edu. It was financed by the National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies and foundations.
The report noted that additional use of fertilizers and pesticides could pollute water supplies and contribute to the overgrowth of aquatic plant life that produces “dead zones” like those in the Chesapeake Bay, the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere.
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