How much water is too much?

January 13, 2015

Garfield County, Silt, water

On Monday night the SiltBOTs voted unanimously to reject the application for a marijuana cultivation and manufacturing facility which would have been located on vacant land between Eagle’s View and Stoney Ridge subdivision.

Read all about it here: Silt rejects pot growing operation

During the hearing a big stink was made about the amount of water that would be “consumed” by the facility’s operations, though it was never made clear exactly how much water would potentially be used. A couple residents made reference to an Aspen Journalism article published last October in which a marijuana grow operation in Basalt was asking for water rights for “2.89 acre-feet, or 941,710 gallons, of water a year.”

Seems like a lot of water until you consider that on average one frack job uses more than twice that much water — 2.5 million gallons.


Source: Fracking Our Future: Where’s the Water? [Western Resource Advocates] Click on image to enlarge

Water used for oil & gas drilling is consumptive water use. “Consumptive water use is water removed from available supplies without return to a water resource system (e.g., water used in manufacturing, agriculture, and food preparation that is not returned to a stream, river, or water treatment plant).”

For those who are concerned about water use they need to first consider how much water is consumed by oil & gas drilling.

Then there’s this to consider:

  • It takes 1.39 liters of water to make one liter of water.*
  • It takes 2.02 liters of water to make one liter of soda.
  • It takes 4 liters of water to make one liter of beer.
  • It takes 4.74 liters of water to make one liter of wine.
  • It takes 34.55 liters of water to make one liter of hard liquor.

So please, if we’re going to talk about water use in Silt, let’s make it an honest conversation.

*Source: How Much Water Actually Goes into Making a Bottle of Water?

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One Comment on “How much water is too much?”

  1. maryinline Says:

    Growing crops without the use of pesticides or other nasty chemicals, is a prudent use of water, as anyone who knows the basic history of the west. I’m not an official resident of any town in Garfield County, living on the Catherine Store Road. I do live within 2 miles of Carbondale’s borders, and I’m curious if other people living in and around Carbondale would consider adopting this agricultural business. Sooner than I think many of us expect, I suspect the Federal Government will legalize the use of marijuana, nationwide. This opportunity could provide Carbondale with yet another agricultural first on the western slope!

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