| Click for the Finfacts Ireland Portal Homepage |

Finfacts Business News Centre

Home 
 
 News
 Irish
 Irish Economy
 EU Economy
 US Economy
 UK Economy
 Global Economy
 International
 Property
 Innovation
 
 Analysis/Comment
 
 Asia Economy

RSS FEED


How to use our RSS feed

 
Web Finfacts

See Search Box lower down this column for searches of Finfacts news pages. Where there may be the odd special character missing from an older page, it's a problem that developed when Interactive Tools upgraded to a new content management system.

Welcome

Finfacts is Ireland's leading business information site and you are in its business news section.

We provide access to live business television and business related videos from: Bloomberg TV; The Wall Street Journal; CNBC and the Financial Times. Click image:

Links

Finfacts Homepage

Irish Share Prices

Euribor Daily Rates

Irish Economy

Global Income Per Capita

Global Cost of Living

Irish Tax 2008

Climate Change Reports

Global News

Bloomberg News

CNN Money

Cnet Tech News

Newspapers

Irish Independent

Irish Times

Irish Examiner

New York Times

Financial Times

Technology News

 

Feedback

 

Content Management by interactivetools.com.

News : International Last Updated: Apr 24, 2009 - 5:31:05 PM


Rise in biofuel production in China and India may cause shortages of water
By Finfacts Team
Oct 12, 2007 - 6:16:00 AM

Email this article
 Printer friendly page

From Water for food Water for Life report

China's and India's plans to produce more biofuels may cause shortages of water, which is needed for crops to feed their growing populations, according to a water study published on Thursday.

The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) study, Biofuels and implications for agricultural water use: blue impacts of green energy, says that both China and India are focusing on maize and sugarcane, which require large amounts of water, to boost expanded biofuel production.

"Crop production for biofuels in China and India would likely jeopardize sustainable water use and thus affect irrigated production of food crops, including cereals and vegetables, which would then need to be imported in larger quantities," Charlotte de Fraiture, the study's lead author, said in a statement.

"Are these countries, particularly India which has devoted so much effort to achieving food security, adequately considering the trade-offs involved, especially the prospect of importing food to free up sufficient water and land for production of biofuel crops?"

The International Water Management Institute has previously warned that increased production of crops for ethanol could threaten water supplies in the United States.

Charlotte de Fraiture says in an article published last May that: The recently completed Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture estimates that 1.2 billion people live in areas affected by water scarcity, where water resources are not enough to meet growing needs.

In many of them, people rely on irrigation for agriculture. In India, for example, more than 60 per cent of the cereal crops grown for food and feed production are irrigated and in China, that figure is more than 70 per cent.

Irrigation demands large amounts of water, depending on both crop type and region, as well as climate and mode of cultivation (high-input versus low-input agriculture).

For example, one kilogram of Indian rice evaporates an average 1100 litres of irrigation water. A kilogram of wheat in China, by contrast, evaporates 820 litres.

Both China and India, responding to severe water shortages and growing water needs, have already initiated large projects to transfer water from areas of high to low abundance. The South-North transfer project in China and the Linking of Rivers project in India are just two examples. But such projects are controversial because of the high costs, environmental impacts and displacement of people associated with them.

Last month, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) warned that governments should end subsidies for biofuels, as the demand for grain for the alternative energy industry result in surging food prices and the potential destruction of natural habitats.

The IWMI study says China aims to increase biofuels production fourfold to around 15 billion liters (4 billion gallons) of ethanol  - 9 percent of its projected petrol demand - by 2020, from a 2002 level of 3.6 billion liters (950 million gallons). India is focused on also ramping up ethanol production. Earlier this week, the Indian government approved a plan to require oil companies to sell petrol with a blend of at least 10 percent ethanol by next year or double current levels.

The IWMI says that to meet their biofuels targets, China would need to produce 26 percent more maize and India 16 percent more sugarcane. It says that doing so would require an extra 75 liters (20 gallons) of irrigation water per person per day in China, and an additional 70 liters (18.5 gallons) per day in India, beyond what is needed for food.

In a statement, the IWMI's David Molden said that the situation could worsen already dire water shortages in parts of China and India.

"Without major changes in water management, how are we going to feed a growing population, satisfy increasing demand for meat, and, on top of that, use crops as a major source of fuel?" Molden asked.

The IWMI study says that that India and China could focus on crops that need less water, such as sweet sorghum for ethanol, and species including the jatropha bush and pongamia trees for biodiesel.

India plans to plant about 3.1 million hectares of jatropha plantations by 2009, and to have identified another 40 million hectares of wasteland by then to grow the plant.


© Copyright 2009 by Finfacts.com

Top of Page

International
Latest Headlines
Wednesday newspaper review: December 17, 2014
Tuesday newspaper review: December 16, 2014
Monday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - December 08, 2014
Friday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - November 28, 2014
Thursday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - November 27, 2014
Tuesday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - November 25, 2014
Friday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - November 21, 2014
Thursday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - November 20, 2014
Wednesday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - November 19, 2014
Tuesday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - November 18, 2014
Monday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - November 17, 2014
Friday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - November 14, 2014
Thursday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - November 13, 2014
Wednesday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - November 12, 2014
Tuesday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - November 11, 2014
Monday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - November 10, 2014
Thursday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - November 06, 2014
Tuesday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - November 04, 2014
Monday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - November 03, 2014
Friday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - October 31, 2014
Thursday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - October 30, 2014
Wednesday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - October 29, 2014
Tuesday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - October 28, 2014
Friday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - October 24, 2014
Wednesday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - October 22, 2014
Tuesday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - October 21, 2014
Monday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - October 20, 2014
Friday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - October 17, 2014
Thursday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - October 16, 2014
Wednesday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - October 15, 2014
Monday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - October 13, 2014
Friday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - October 10, 2014
Thursday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - October 09, 2014
Wednesday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - October 08, 2014
Tuesday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - October 07, 2014
Monday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - October 06, 2014
Thursday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - October 02, 2014
Wednesday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - October 01, 2014
Monday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - September 29, 2014
Friday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - September 26, 2014