Consortium, Led by SBWT Partner Resource Innovation Institute, Releases Cannabis Water Use & Sustainability Report

Resource Innovation Institute (RII) (, in partnership with New Frontier Data ( and the Berkeley Cannabis Research Center, recently released Cannabis H2O: Water Use and Sustainability in Cultivation. The report, developed with expert input from Silver Bullet Water Treatment staff, provides an in-depth look at water usage in the regulated cannabis cultivation market and how its use compares to the illicit market and traditional agricultural sectors. The report also includes strategic recommendations for policy makers, industry leaders and other key stakeholders.

SBWT’s Director of Horticulture, Kyle Lisabeth, contributed to the development of the Cannabis H2O: Water Use and Sustainability in Cultivation report through his participation on the RII Water Working Group.

The report reveals that the cannabis industry uses significantly less water than other major agricultural crops in California. However, there are significant opportunities to drive even greater efficiency in the industry.

Supplementing this report, New Frontier Data, Resource Innovation Institute, and the Berkeley Cannabis Research Center will conduct a Free Industry Briefing on Wednesday, March 10th at 3:00 PM EST. The briefing will address both commercial and policy implications detailed in the report. Briefing registration can be found here:

SBWT’s Kyle Lisabeth also will be a part of the March 10 press briefing, where he will provide the public and industry media insight on how water management solutions can impact water use and sustainability.

The report assesses water use intensity variances across different facility types and sizes, identifying significant opportunities for cultivators to improve water efficiency by adopting new techniques expected to be key industry-wide sustainability drivers.

Key Report Findings:

    1. By 2025, total water use of the legal cannabis market is expected to increase by 86%.
      Combined legal and illicit cannabis crops used nearly 2.8 billion gallons in 2020, with usage forecast to reach 3.6 billion gallons by 2025 fueled by demand-driven growth.
    2. The illicit market will remain the primary driver of water use over the next five years, accounting for 83% of water use in 2020, and declining to 69% in 2025.
    3. Water use practices are highly diverse in the new regulated cannabis industry, underscoring the need for well-tailored regulatory policies that are responsive to this diversity.

You can take advantage of SBWT’s expertise for your horticulture cultivation facility, livestock production operation, or commercial cooling application. 

Experience what Silver Bullet Water Treatment can do for you.



303-552-2383/[email protected]