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Illegal marijuana farms take scarce water from Oregon, California

In many western states, illegal marijuana farms are diverting water from licensed users, drying up wells and streams, harming plants and animals, affecting recreational opportunities, and exacerbating severe drought conditions. According to the Cannabis Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley the number of illegal marijuana farms in California outnumbers the number of licensed farms. A farm with 2,000 marijuana plants may use millions of gallons of water per day depleting ground and surface water resources. In Oregon the number of illegal marijuana grows has exploded resulting in “blatant” water theft. In Oregon’s high desert, water theft from already-meager supply has led to a water shortage this year for farmers.

Author: Andrew Selsky

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