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Ground water study shows major concerns

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All the reasons given by federal and state legislators for production of biofuels are superficially great: jobs created, decreasing our dependence on foreign energy sources, etc., but at what cost?

We should have major concern regarding the consequences of biofuel production: depletion of major water aquifers, rapid pollution of all ground water resources, skewing of farm prices and the related skewing of food prices and the cost that will be associated with water usage in the near future.

The amount of land that has been taken out of wildlife habitat, wetland, drained and water sources contaminated is staggering. I am dismayed at the number of trees bulldozed, piled and burned, the wildlife lands burned off and wetlands drained for the sake of crop production.

Ground water studies in the state have been ongoing for 25-plus years. One major study is the ground water study by the DNR in the Bonanza Valley Groundwater Management Area, centered on the towns of Brooten and Belgrade, but the study area is extensive, covering several counties including southern Douglas.

Over the past 25 years, ground water usage in the study area has increased by 175 percent, primarily driven by increased irrigation of cropland and food processing plants. The major increase in ground water usage is creating concern over the supply of both surface and deep ground water sources as well as the rate of nitrate contamination. The Bonanza Valley GWMA website is http://tinyurl.com/gwma-bonanzavalley.

Two other study areas are being monitored in the state besides the Bonanza Valley Management test area. It can be guaranteed that the test results, from the three test sites, will result in tighter regulations regarding the permitting ground water uses and the cost of water usage will increase for all citizens of the state.

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