Marijuana cultivators should reconsider the way they measure water usage, brand new report claims

An illustration showing new cannabis water use benchmarks, with some example use data from the Resource Innovation Institute.

As interest in water increases as well as the supply remains restricted, cannabis cultivators could need to replace the method they think of and determine their utilization of this valuable resource, in accordance with a fresh report published by three businesses.

Early efforts quantified facility water usage by concentrating on gallons per plant.

But That model does take into account n’t the variability in plant density, size and cultivation period, noted the report.

The report, released Feb. 24 through a partnership among Washington DC-headquartered marijuana analytics company New Frontier Data, Oregon-based Resource Innovation Institute and the Berkeley Cannabis Research Center in California, can be downloaded for free here.

As an alternative, the report – “Cannabis H2O: Water Use and Sustainability in Cultivation” – outlines benchmarks that are new give attention to water efficiency, effectiveness and need.

It concludes that the metrics that are new better at accounting for water use in the variety of outdoor, greenhouse, indoor and hybrid facilities that are currently used in legal cannabis cultivation across the United States.

The research comes as climate that is challenging, specially drought, could make water a far more crucial input to lucrative cultivation as growers handle water limitations, scarcity and greater water expenses.


Water efficiency may be the dimension of grms of dry flower that is trimmed per gallon of water, which provides visibility into how effectively a grower is using water.

The larger the amount of flower produced represents more use that is effective

Greenhouses tend to be more productive than interior or outside cultivation models, in accordance with self-reported water information from RII’s Cannabis PowerScore platform, a totally free energy-, water- and waste-benchmarking software.

Cannabis greenhouses produced 5.17 grms of flower per gallon of water, in line with the report. It was a improvement that is slight indoor grows, which yielded 4.84 grams per gallon.

Outdoor facilities reported the use that is least-efficient of, at 3.13 grms per gallon.


Another way of measuring effectiveness is a facility’s use that is annual of water per square foot of space used for cultivation.

Water efficiency uses the area that is tray-and-table for plant manufacturing and excludes noncultivation areas such as for example walkways.

Low water-use figures with this indicate that is metric facility water use.

Outdoor facilities were the most efficient using this metric, according to RII data, averaging 11 gallons per square foot of cultivation area compared with 80 gallons for greenhouses and 198 for indoor facilities.

The disparity could be in the way outdoor grows report canopy areas, as plant spacing and plant sizes in outdoor farms make it hard to account for the space that is unused flowers, the report records.


Measuring How water that is much facility uses during the various points of the growth cycle can provide valuable information for planning and sustainability.

Demand is measured by application and storage over the course of months and years.

Application demand measures the facility’s water that is direct at the full time, while many cultivators, like those in Ca, will have to monitor their water storage during wetter parts associated with season.

Indoor facilities had greater water need than many other center kinds.

RII stated that interior facilities on its Cannabis PowerScore platform averaged 605,180 gallons a more than double that of outdoor and greenhouse facilities.

The year indoor facilities averaged 69,000 to 124,000 gallons a with demand peaks in March, June, September and December.

The month cyclical nature associated with water usage could possibly be regarding harvests that are single than perpetual harvest throughout the year, legalization schedules or syncing with holiday and summer sales demand.

Measuring water usecannabisWhile the data offers insight into usage, the report highlights the difficulty in comparing cultivation facilities.

“Our research shows there are still differences that are massive

production practices and also to a point this variation is also observed in our water usage information,” the report noted.

For instance, more founded facilities will efficiently use water more than new builds.

The group is confident that as the industry matures, efficient water use will become more important – just as it has for other agricultural crops.[email protected]A big part of that maturity will be creating water-use that is meaningful.

Andrew Longer may be reached at (*).(*)

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