Thursday, March 03, 2011

Environment Canada Commissions Report: Review of the Effects of Energy Crops in Canada on Water Use and Quality

REAP-Canada staff have been working hard on a report for Environment Canada. The report uncovered some crucial findings, including the potential of some biomass energy crops to deplete groundwater reserves. “Hydrologically effective rainfall” is a key concept in the review, aiming to find out how much rain actually gets past the canopy and root systems of the crop to successfully recharge groundwater. The review also calls into question the reported yields in some research papers which have been based on small-plot trials. Crops in small plots can gain extra water from the surrounding, crop-free areas, an advantage that large acreages lack. Stay tuned for the full-text version of the review!


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