US (CA): Growers not allowed to divert water for cultivation until end October

Cannabis cultivators that plan to divert surface water need a water right to irrigate cannabis. The Cannabis Policy requires cannabis cultivators to forbear (or cease) from diverting surface water during the dry season, which starts April 1 and ends October 31 of each calendar year. This means that water must be diverted during the wet season and stored for use during the dry season.  Water is required to be stored offstream.

The Cannabis SIUR is a streamlined option to obtain a small appropriative water right (less than 6.6 acre-feet per year) to divert and store surface water to irrigate commercial cannabis crops. There is a $750 initial registration fee that is required to obtain your registration. Please refer to the fee schedule for registration renewal information.

The State Water Board developed general terms and conditions for the statewide Cannabis SIUR to address off-stream storage needs for cannabis cultivation. The Cannabis SIUR requires compliance with the Cannabis Cultivation Policy and additional general terms and conditions.

On April 10, 2018, the Deputy Director for the Division of Water Rights approved a Resolution Establishing General Conditions to be Applied to Small Irrigation Use Registrations for Cannabis Cultivation that established updated general conditions for the Cannabis Small Irrigation Use Registration.

Click here for further information about water rights program 

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