Massive marijuana cultivation has ‘lethal’ impact on California water supply – study


California’s present drought has been attributable to the demand for water wanted to domesticate hashish, which, below state regulation, is against the law for leisure use. Streams are working dry, fish are dying, and it’s only the start, US scientists warn.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has lately revealed a study, the primary of its sort, within the PLOS journal. The scientists, who studied the devastating environmental results of marijuana cultivation within the area, concluded: “Due to climate change, water scarcity and habitat degradation in northern California is likely to worsen in the future.”

All the streams we monitored in watersheds with massive scale marijuana cultivation went dry,” mentioned California Department of Fish and Wildlife Senior Environmental Scientist Scott Bauer, who’s the lead writer of the study. “The only stream we monitored that didn’t go dry contained no observed marijuana cultivation.”

As the water system is ruined, fish and amphibians are struggling large dangers – the results are “lethal or sub-lethal … on state-and federally-listed salmon and steelhead trout and to cause further decline of sensitive amphibian species,” the study mentioned.

The downside lies inside the truth that, as rising marijuana is a covert follow within the state, it happens on non-public property. So scientists have confronted difficulties to estimate the ecological harm, and of their work they used Google Earth historic knowledge and high-resolution aerial imagery, obtained by low-altitude plane flights in cooperation with regulation enforcement.

“Marijuana has been cultivated in the backwoods and backyards of northern California at least since the countercultural movement of the 1960s with few documented environmental impacts,” the study mentioned. “Northwestern California has been viewed as an ideal location for marijuana cultivation because it is remote, primarily forested, and sparsely populated.”

A marijuana plant requires an estimated 22.7 liters of water per day, and, in line with the report, the water demand within the rising season from May to September exceeds stream stream in some areas.

“Both monitoring and conservation measures are necessary to address environmental impacts from marijuana cultivation. State and federal agencies will need to develop more comprehensive guidelines for essential bypass flows in order to protect rearing habitat for … aquatic organisms,” the scientists conclude.

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