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 while the supply remains restricted, cannabis cultivators could need to replace the method they think of and determine their usage of this valuable resource, based on a fresh report published by three businesses.

Early efforts quantified facility water usage by emphasizing 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 concentrate on 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, particularly drought, could make water a far more crucial input to lucrative cultivation as growers cope with water limitations, scarcity and greater water expenses.


Water efficiency could 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 are far more productive than interior or outside cultivation models, based on 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, though some cultivators, like those in Ca, will have to monitor their water storage during wetter parts associated with the 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 per year, significantly more than double compared to outdoor and greenhouse facilities.

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

The month cyclical nature of the water use could be related to harvests that are single than perpetual harvest over summer and winter, legalization schedules or syncing with vacation and summer time product sales need.

Measuring water use

While the data provides understanding of use, the report highlights the issue in comparing cultivation facilities.

“Our studies have shown you can still find differences that are massive cannabis production techniques and to some extent this variation also is seen in our water use data,” the report noted.

For example, more established facilities will efficiently use water more than brand new builds.

The team is confident that whilst the industry matures, efficient water utilize becomes more essential – in the same way it’s for any other agricultural plants.

A big section of that readiness are producing water-use that is meaningful.[email protected]Andrew Longer could be reached at


Latest posts