Deborah Agboola   |   July 06, 2020

Water Conservation in Cannabis Cultivation

Methods for conserving a precious resource.
Deborah is an inquisitive writer with a forte in technical writing. Her desire to enlighten and inform gives her the extra edge of structuring her writes to an easily understandable form, while retaining its technicality. When she is not…

Over the years, the greenhouse effect and global warming have drastically taken a toll on the climate, significantly affecting global activities. With a higher percentage of drought recorded on the planet, the agricultural sector is now more vulnerable, having multiple effects on water availability, food security, livelihoods, and agricultural production.

The World Meteorological Organization released an analysis of the global expenditure spent on water insecurity, which was found to be at an annual rate of US$500 billion. Significant droughts in nations have resulted in the reduction of gross domestic product growth, causing degeneration in the economic state of the country.

There have been notions raised on high water consumption in marijuana cultivation, even to blaming water decline levels in towns to cannabis. However, according to the Chairman of the National Hemp Association,  the plant only requires much water at the early stage of growth, beyond which it develops into one of the most drought-tolerant plants.

Regardless of this quality, as with every other plant, water is a necessary factor for its growth, but with the current dwindling state of the planet, certain features are needed to curtail the hazard and help restore the planet.

Water Conservation

This is the preservation and controlled utilization of water to ensure it’s availability for current times and future purposes. Man’s nonchalant attitude to sustainability has augmented the diminishing supply of water due to water consumption faster than nature can replenish. To avoid an imminent disaster, there is a need for increased awareness and a subsequent change in the mindset of humanity.

Challenges in Water Conservation Systems

The movement of developing more sustainable forms and better practices has faced several challenges causing the hampering of progress. To quell them, the identification of these demurrals is pertinent. Some of the challenges faced are:

  • Population growth
  • Industrialization
  • Mismanagement
  • Expanding Agriculture
  • Climate change

Water Conservation Strategies

Water Conservation Systems are broadly divided into two types: Municipal and Agriculture. Of these two types, various strategies can be employed to improve the hydrosphere. Below are some of the strategy methodologies based on their type :

Municipal

Conservation pricing:

Precursory statistics drawn by the United States Geological survey for 2010, projects public water supply in the country as the largest consumer by 2025 with a pitched estimate of 2 billion gallons of freshwater withdrawals daily.

Conservation pricing is an inversely proportional scheme set to deter the indiscriminate use of water, based on the economic relationship between price and quantity consumed– the higher the price of a commodity, the lower the amount purchased or used.

Installing low flow water fixtures:

This entails the reduction of water use while retaining its normal functionality with an additional benefit of saving significant amounts on the water bill. The U.S Energy Policy Act promulgated in 1992, set a standard for the flow rate of all plumbing equipment, and this has helped facilitate the movement for water sustainability and conservation.

Currently, there are several technologies developed towards low water usage. Some of which include:

  • Laminar flow faucets
  • Aeration systems
  • Half-flush toilets
  • Gravity assisted toilets

Implementation of educational campaigns:

Water conservation campaigns are directed at enlightening individuals on the importance of saving water and ways to manage its scarcity efficiently. Various forms of communication can be exploited for campaigns: the internet, direct communication, etc.

The Water-Use It Wisely national campaign, which was set up in 1999, currently has over 350 public and private partners and is a fun campaign designed to inform people on the simplest things that can be done to reduce daily water consumption and save the planet. It is established based on ”the littlest things making a huge difference.”

Agriculture

Rainwater harvesting:

This is the process of collecting and preserving rainwater in storage paraphernalia and consequent prevention of rain-related crises such as flooding. There are two methods of rainwater harvesting. They are:

  • Surface run-off harvesting
  • Rooftop rainwater harvesting

Use of Modern Irrigation methods:

Irrigation is the artificial application of water at controlled pressures to land for agricultural purposes. It’s discovery modified agriculture, giving rise to flexibility in farming systems, high-quality outputs, insurance against unprecedented changes in climate, and increased profits. There are three major types of irrigation: Surface, Drip, and Overhead irrigation.

Advancements in technology affected improvements in irrigation with newer and better mechanisms and techniques, allowing for more favorable practices. The following are a few modern irrigation tools used:

  • Sprinkling irrigation
  • Aquaponics systems
  • Mist irrigation
  • Sub-irrigation
  • Intra-soil irrigation

Laser leveling:

This is the use of a guided laser beam to level a land’s surface within a certain degree of the desired slope. It enables proper germination, stand, and increased yield of cannabis. Other benefits of this method include uniform distribution of water, conservation of soil’s nutrient, precision planting, and curtailed weed growth.

Aside from the unique benefits of each system, water conservation has its far-reaching benefits, including:

  • Improvement of  agricultural productivity
  • Cut-back of losses and higher efficiency.
  • Encouragement of efficient water use
  • Facilitation of  flexible water management

In Jane Goodall’s words, “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make.”

 

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