Biofuels produced from irrigated corn use 650 times more water than oil-derived gasoline, according to Circle of Blue’s findings. For soybean-based biofuels, that number is around 1,000.
As for carbon sequestration, fossil fuel plants that attempt to bury their CO2 will consume 40%–90% more water.
"(These) clean technologies that are meant to save us from conventional oil (pose) a major threat to water security, and this is a crisis," said Turner. All too often, she added, "the water footprint" is not considered in energy development.
Her remarks echoed the conclusion of the Sandia paper, which called for a major overhaul of current policies: "It may not be possible in many areas of the country to meet the country's growing energy and water needs by following the current U.S. path of largely managing water and energy separately while making small improvements in freshwater supply and small changes in energy and water-use efficiency."