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时间:2011-02-12 03:15来源:互联网 提供网友:qi2261   字体: [ ]

  A new study by researchers at Rice University in Houston, Texas warns that expanded production of crops to produce biofuels could damage water resources. The researchers suggest policy makers1 take into account what they call the "water footprint" when encouraging biofuel development.
The study is titled The Water Footprint of Biofuels: A Drink or Drive Issue? The suggestion is that by using too much water to produce fuel, humankind might leave itself with not enough water to drink or to grow food.
The lead author of the study, Rice University Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Pedro Alvarez spoke2 to VOA by telephone from France, where he is attending an academic meeting. He says the water footprint consists of two elements. "Water shortages caused by a significant increase in fuel crop irrigation, and increased water pollution from related agro-chemical drainage and increased erosion and so on. The two impacts we refer to as the 'water footprint,'" he said.
该研究报告的主要作者、莱斯大学土木与环境工程教授佩德罗.阿尔瓦雷斯(Pedro Alvarez) 在接受美国之音采访时解释了所谓的“水足迹”。他说:“能源作物的灌溉大量增加,相关农用化学品以及水土流失造成的水污染恶化,这些都是导致水源短缺的主要因素。这就是我们所说的‘水足迹’。”
Alvarez says there are good reasons to continue programs to produce biofuels, such as reducing the need for imported oil and diversifying3 our sources of energy. But he says policy makers should provide incentives4 to producers to use crops that use less water and have less impact on the environment in the form of runoff of pesticides5, fertilizers and other chemicals.
"We want to try to use crops that deliver more energy with lower requirements for not just water, but also land and agro-chemicals. These are usually non-edible cellulosic crops," he said.
The Rice University study also suggests that using corn to produce the alcohol fuel ethanol may not always be cost effective, especially in states where farmers have to use large amounts of fertilizer to produce the grain.
But Kristen Brekke of the American Coalition6 for Ethanol in Sioux Falls, South Dakota says the study does not take into account the growing yields farmers are producing by using technology and improved agricultural practices.
但是,总部设在南达科他州苏福尔斯市的美国乙醇燃料联合会的克里斯丁.布莱克(Kristen Brekke)说,该项研究忽略了一个情况,那就是农民们利用新技术和改善耕作方式以使产量不断增加。
"They are getting a lot more efficient; they have a lot better crop genetics and agronomic7 practices like no-till farming and things like GPS [satellite-dependent global positioning system]. That sort of technology allows them to put only the amount of fertilizer that is needed on a field and in the exact location that it is needed. USDA [the U.S. Department of Agriculture], for example, says that corn yields are expected to double in the next 25 years," she said.
布莱克说:“他们提高了生产效率,改良了作物品种,并运用诸如免耕直播及全球定位系统等手段改进耕作方式。 这些技术使人们只在必要的地方施用最少量的化肥。美国农业部预测,在未来的25年中,玉米产量将翻一番。”
But Brekke agrees with the Rice University study in that using corn for ethanol may not work well everywhere and that development of cellulosic ethanol from waste products and other plants makes sense. "The nice thing about cellulosic ethanol is that all areas of the country will be able to participate in that. Where it makes sense to grow corn, some of that corn is going to ethanol production, but in other areas of the country they will be able to use what they have locally available," she said.
The ethanol industry backs the use of the alcohol additive8 to gasoline as way of reducing petroleum9 consumption nationwide.
But Pedro Alvarez argues that it might be better for the environment as well as farmers to use the alternative fuel locally and not try to transport it long distances. He says that the growing world population might force policy changes not only in terms of water used for fuel crops, but also in terms of how water is used to produce the food we eat.
"To make one kilogram of bread, let's say, you need 1,000 liters of water and to make one kilogram of meat you need 10,000 liters of water. The point here is that water is going to be a severe limiting factor - not only to economic development, but just to feed a growing population," he said.
Alvarez says population growth will drive the need to allocate10 water carefully for various food crops as well as livestock11. Likewise, he says, it will be necessary to balance the goals of reducing oil consumption and supporting the income of farmers with the need to preserve the water that makes agriculture possible.


1 makers 22a4efff03ac42c1785d09a48313d352     
  • The makers of the product assured us that there had been no sacrifice of quality. 这一产品的制造商向我们保证说他们没有牺牲质量。
  • The makers are about to launch out a new product. 制造商们马上要生产一种新产品。 来自《简明英汉词典》
2 spoke XryyC     
n.(车轮的)辐条;轮辐;破坏某人的计划;阻挠某人的行动 v.讲,谈(speak的过去式);说;演说;从某种观点来说
  • They sourced the spoke nuts from our company.他们的轮辐螺帽是从我们公司获得的。
  • The spokes of a wheel are the bars that connect the outer ring to the centre.辐条是轮子上连接外圈与中心的条棒。
3 diversifying a1f291117de06530378940b8720bea5e     
v.使多样化,多样化( diversify的现在分词 );进入新的商业领域
  • Some publishers are now diversifying into software. 有些出版社目前正兼营软件。 来自辞典例句
  • Silverlit is diversifying into new markets, such as Russia and Eastern Europe. Silverlit正在使他们的市场变得多样化,开发新的市场如俄罗斯和东欧国家。 来自互联网
4 incentives 884481806a10ef3017726acf079e8fa7     
激励某人做某事的事物( incentive的名词复数 ); 刺激; 诱因; 动机
  • tax incentives to encourage savings 鼓励储蓄的税收措施
  • Furthermore, subsidies provide incentives only for investments in equipment. 更有甚者,提供津贴仅是为鼓励增添设备的投资。 来自英汉非文学 - 环境法 - 环境法
5 pesticides abb0488ed6905584ea91347395a890e8     
n.杀虫剂( pesticide的名词复数 );除害药物
  • vegetables grown without the use of pesticides 未用杀虫剂种植的蔬菜
  • There is a lot of concern over the amount of herbicides and pesticides used in farming. 人们对农业上灭草剂和杀虫剂的用量非常担忧。 来自《简明英汉词典》
6 coalition pWlyi     
  • The several parties formed a coalition.这几个政党组成了政治联盟。
  • Coalition forces take great care to avoid civilian casualties.联盟军队竭尽全力避免造成平民伤亡。
7 agronomic 826305f5d91e3ac18acf4c04ec4c8c3b     
  • The 10 agronomic traits in 19 varieties of soybean have studied. 对引进的19份毛豆品种的10个主要农艺性状进行相关性分析。 来自互联网
  • Suitable for different regions, different types of soil and agronomic requirements of operation can be planted. 适合于不同地区、不同类型的土质和农艺要求均可播种作业。 来自互联网
8 additive BJFyM     
  • Colour is often an additive in foods.颜料经常是各种食物中的添加物。
  • Strict safety tests are carried out on food additives.对食品添加剂进行了严格的安全检测。
9 petroleum WiUyi     
  • The Government of Iran advanced the price of petroleum last week.上星期伊朗政府提高了石油价格。
  • The purpose of oil refinery is to refine crude petroleum.炼油厂的主要工作是提炼原油。
10 allocate ILnys     
  • You must allocate the money carefully.你们必须谨慎地分配钱。
  • They will allocate fund for housing.他们将拨出经费建房。
11 livestock c0Wx1     
  • Both men and livestock are flourishing.人畜两旺。
  • The heavy rains and flooding killed scores of livestock.暴雨和大水淹死了许多牲口。
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