Water Use Efficiency Makes Palm Oil More Ecofriendly
JAKARTA – The anti-palm oil groups have often criticized the water use in the process of producing vegetable oils. They said that the water use in the palm oil industry is wasteful and is not eco-friendly. Is it true?
The Palm Oil Agribusiness Strategic Policy Institute (PASPI) issued a report on Friday, 05 August 2022, which said that the researches conducted by Gerbens-Leenes et. al. (2009) and Makonnen & Hoekstra (2010) have proven that in terms of water use the most voracious oil crops are rapeseed, followed by coconut, cassava, corn, soybean, and sunflower.
To produce every Giga Joule (GJ) of oil the rapeseed will need 184 cubic meters of water.
The PASPI report also mentions that the coconut, which is mainly produced in Indonesia, Philippines, and India, needs water at the average of 126 cubic meters. Cassava, from which ethanol is produced, needs water at the average of around 118 cubic meters.
The researches have proven that apparently the oil palm trees are the most efficient (after sugarcane) in using water for every GigaJoule (GJ) of oil produced.
The soybean, which is the main vegetable oil in the USA, needs a average of 100 cubic meters of water. Sugarcane and oil palm trees are proven to be the most efficient plants in using water for the production of bioenergy.
For every GJ of oil produced, the oil palm trees only need water at 75 cubic meters.
“It means, the oil palm tree is the most efficient among other oil crops in terms of using water,” PASPI said in the report. (*)