Questions raised about cannabis growers' water use

Some Deschutes County residents say their wells are running dry after cannabis growing operations move in nearby.

Posted: Feb 22, 2019 12:29 PM

BEND, Ore. (AP) -- Some Deschutes County residents say their wells are running dry after cannabis growing operations move in nearby. While a state investigation determined that growing operations had a relatively limited effect on groundwater near Tumalo, that hasn't stopped anecdotal reports from rural county residents who draw a connection between uses.

The Bulletin reports that Charles Cook and Suezan Hill-Cook didn't think much of a medical marijuana growing operation when it set up shop next to their home near Redmond in 2015. The newspaper reported that during the hottest part of last summer, the well the couple relies on for water went dry -- and they blamed the marijuana growing operation.

Central Oregon Watermaster Jeremy Giffin says the average marijuana grower uses about 3,000 gallons of groundwater per day, significantly more than most homes, but less than many agricultural uses.

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