As demand for water increases and the supply remains limited, marijuana cultivators might need to change the way they think about and measure their use of this precious resource, according to a new report compiled by three organizations. Early efforts quantified facility water use by focusing on gallons per plant. But that model doesn’t take into account 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 new benchmarks that focus on water productivity, efficiency, and demand. It concludes that the new metrics are 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 challenging climate conditions, especially drought, will make water an even more important input to profitable cultivation as growers deal with water restrictions, scarcity, and higher water costs.
Marijuana Business Daily, 03/02/2021 06:30:00