Here is a recent summary of our news and analysis pieces on Water

Marijuana is worsening California's water problems

May 17, 2023
California’s stubbornly persistent illegal cannabis industry isn’t just undercutting the legal market — it’s also behind some of the world’s most blatant water theft. In 2021, at the height of the cannabis water theft crisis, officials in one California County estimated an annual loss of as much as 4,000 acre-feet of water amid reports of supplies being hauled in or groundwater being illegally pumped from the basin. An acre-foot is about 326,000 gallons, enough water to submerge an American football field 1 foot deep
Read More
Plowed field

Now cannabis wants you to pay for them not to grow

May 3, 2022
For the last decade, cannabis growers having been talking up their water efficiency and fighting to be allowed to grow on every farm, slope, and hill in the county. But now that prices are low and taxpayer handouts are on offer, cannabis wants to be included with our water intensive crops and be paid to fallow.
Read More
Small plant being watered in a parched earth

Don't start giving away our water to the highest bidder

April 27, 2022
The cannabis industry claims to have a right to Sonoma's water on the false premise that since it generates more revenues per acre than some of our crops, it's a more efficient user of water. However, in a world where our water rights are not - yet - based on highest ability to pay, this is an irrelevant and dangerous equivalence to be citing.
Read More
Residential house under construction

Does the County's Water Baseline Analysis include its affordable housing commitments?

April 22, 2022
The County has a large affordable housing mandate to fulfill -- yet no one seems to be talking about the additional water demand this will drive.
Read More
Water flowing in a river

Why is Permit Sonoma focused on expediting cannabis approvals while lacking fundamental baseline water availability data?

April 18, 2022
Permit Sonoma is spending $1M to expedite cannabis permitting - a high water intensity use frequently sited in low water availability areas. Shouldn't we be updating our water availability studies and building a better understanding of our watersheds' carrying capacity before we approve more high water uses on the basis of outdated or faulty data?
Read More