Cannabis Water Requirements
Looking for a solution to the water demands of your cannabis grow crop operation? Water and rainwater storage tanks are commonly used to help balance and supply cannabis and hemp’s demanding water requirements by providing access, mobility, and storage of water or rain water capture that can be used for crop irrigation when and where it’s needed.
Cannabis (marijuana, medical, recreational, industrial hemp) plants can require anywhere from 0.5 to 6 gallons of water a day per plant—a hefty demand on any water supply—where the amount changes throughout the plant’s lifecycle, often maximizing during peak growth and harvest time. Research and farm surveys indicate 480 gallons is an average water volume required to grow a single cannabis plant to maturation per season, March-April until August-October, common. With a 1:1:1 ratio existing for one gallon of water a day per plant to produce one pound of dried cannabis flower, potentially providing insight into cannabis water growth, water volume need, and production. In an example indoor grow operation of 120 plants yielding one-pound crop, the estimated water required equals 120 plants x 480 gallons = 57,600 gallons of water potentially used for the cannabis crop season.
The specific water needs of cannabis crops will vary by plant genus and strain, the soil’s available nutrients and type, as well as the plant’s geographic / indoor growth location for temperature, atmosphere, and light exposure. The most common and legal U.S. cannabis grow areas – California, Colorado, Washington, Michigan, Oregon – can experience cyclic and/or average rainfall (as well as other seasonal, environmental influences) often incapable of sustaining large outdoor grow operations up to their fullest growth and economical potential, driving farm companies to draw on external resources and methods of water storage and supply. Indoor grow operations, in addition, receive no rain and are fully reliant on an external water supply.
Cannabis Water Solutions
Cannabis crop growers – indoor and outdoor – utilize different water sourcing methods and amounts that vary with crop density and the plant’s growth cycle. Growers make use of bulk water storage and rainwater tanks to control their water supply and reserves, its operation, availability, pressurized delivery as well as control their reliance on municipal, local water and its associated availability, service, and costs. Both California and Washington State promote the use of cannabis water and rainwater storage tanks for the accumulation of water reserves during seasonal wet periods to serve as a substantial water source as well as reduce any potential impacts from cannabis farms’ water use during dry or drought seasons. Examples of promoted water sources include: rainwater, groundwater, as well as river, stream, and lake sources to the degree regulated by state and local jurisdictions, as Washington has a 5,000 gallons per day cap on water sourcing and with the option of resource stocking.
Cannabis farms within the legal medical, recreational grow states are known to implement rainwater harvesting to supplement the water amount required from municipal supply and reduce costs by collecting, storing, and using rain water channeled from large catchment areas, warehouses, and greenhouses. Rainwater cannabis systems are often installed in high annual precipitation areas (e.g. U.S. pacific coast) with catchment areas connected to water storage tanks engineered to be transported when full for storage or application use. Rainwater harvesting systems are also effective for snow / ice melt water acquisition and storage.
Both indoor and outdoor grow farms are known to capture and store rainwater during the wet and/or off-season for everyday use and for next year’s crop needs. U.S. Washington State is a prime example -- as 2/3 of annual rainfall can occur during the outdoor crop off-season, November to March, and on average is the most productive time for water harvesting and storage. Growers often make use of multiple tanks to store their collected rainwater and so reserve significant volumes of non-purchased water. Agricultural rain-harvesters are often capable of stockpiling tens of thousands of rainwater gallons to be used for crop watering and many cannabis grow operations successfully collect enough water to fully supply next year’s water needs. Bulk water and rainwater storage tanks have become a common solution by cannabis farm companies for leveraging their water use needs to maximize crop growth and performance.
Most Common Cannabis Water Tanks
The most common water storage tanks for cannabis, hemp crops are high-density polyethylene (HDPE) vertical water and rainwater tanks -- outdoor green in color -- and range between 2,100 to 10,000 gallons. Water tank capacities are available between 10 to 20,000 gallons, with the most used tank volumes being 1,100, 1,500, 2,500, 3,000, and 5,000 gallons, and with 10,000 and 15,000 gallon tanks seeing growth with increasing cannabis agriculture as well as cannabis farms’ increased rainwater, water sourcing.
These most common water tank capacities are chosen by farms and companies that need water access and storage in multiple locations for their crop and watering system hookups. The lower gallon capacity tanks are often chosen due to being easier to fill, move and relocate. Cannabis grow farms utilize semi-permanent, stationary water tanks as well as transported water tanks freighted between water / rainwater supply and the crop application. Often, grow farms use poly water tanks of specific volumes to control the freight costs per gallon associated with their water movement through shipping maximum, weighted gallon amounts within single truckloads.
HDPE water storage tanks are widely utilized, versatile, safe and certified, long service containers. They feature modern tank engineering, materials, and components that make them highly effective and functional for cannabis grow operations. Cannabis water tanks feature lifting lugs that provide crane / hoist movement as well as system restraint during transport. The tanks have top manways 12” or larger for access and proper cleaning of tank interiors. Top inlet ports feature plumbing access for water-inflow filling and for making multi tank connections of system fill and overflows. Cannabis water tanks feature bottom outlet discharge valves for plumbing port connections, hoses, and have been centrally positioned to maximize water extraction. Cannabis water tanks come in colors -- green, brown, and black -- to promote tank maintenance, resist sunlight UV energy and heat, inhibit algae and microbiological growth, as well as provide environmentally neutral color tones for visual appearances and location blending. White colored tanks are available but remain best suited for indoor use and sunlight-restricted locations.
Cannabis water supply systems featuring HDPE tanks often use water pumps of various power and designs to pressurize their water delivery systems. The correct pump for your cannabis grow operation will produce the PSI pressure sufficient to drive water from the storage tank and out to all farm plumbing, hoses, nozzles, and sprayers for crop watering.
The high density polyethylene (HDPE) used in cannabis water tank fabrication is a robust, long-service thermoplastic that is widely used across industries, commerce products, and engineering construction projects. It has been refined and selected according to top U.S. federal and industry, authority standards, regulations, and requirements, particularly for water use scenarios.
Certifications and standards for cannabis water tanks include: FDA food grade approved BPA-free, virgin polyethylene resin that meets Title 21 CFR 177.1520 (1) 3.1, 3.2; as well as NSF, ANSI 61 requirements for potable water systems. Available water storage tanks have been engineered according to the utmost manufacturing standards, technology, and materials to service agricultural cannabis, hemp growers in their effort to balance the water supply and demand requirements of their crop.