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Abstract

With the passage of the Energy Policy Act, the rapidly expanding number of ethanol plants, and the fury with which ethanol is being promoted, it is clear that ethanol will play a rising role in our domestic energy supply. Along with this rise there will be an increase in the consumptive use of water by ethanol production facilities. Regions, such as the Texas High Plains, that are already considered to be water stressed have the potential of being impacted. The objective of this research is to assess the potential impact the addition of an ethanol plant may have on the Texas High Plains and to determine how increased water costs will transform the economic viability of an ethanol plant.

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