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Abstract

The establishment of new biorefineries in an effort to increase energy security in the United States has generated positive impacts by creating jobs and generating economic output. However, communities and local and state leaders are concerned about whether ethanol production is an effective use of limited water resources. Input-output analysis is used to determine if locating ethanol plants in the Southern High Plains of Texas is an effective use of water resources relative to current irrigated crop production in terms of socioeconomic impacts. Results indicate ethanol production generates impacts above and beyond that of crop production utilizing an equivalent amount of water.

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