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KTXL Fox 40: Farmer turns to UC Davis-developed tech to conserve water

As the drought continues into the warmer months, farmers are looking for ways to help conserve water while still trying to keep their businesses afloat.

One Yolo County grower has found a way to do that using a water monitoring tool that was developed at UC Davis.

For the past twenty years, Dan Martinez has managed this vineyard for Berryessa Gap Vineyards in Winters but finding a sustainable water source over the past two decades has been a bit of a challenge.

But then came along a device developed at UC Davis nearly 10-years ago. The device is installed in the field alongside the crops and from there it does all the work itself, allowing growers like Martinez to make sure every last drop of water is not wasted.

Efficiency is the key since Martinez can now track all of that information without actually having to go out into the field like he used to, which is something that’s important to Martinez in growing these grapes.

“We don’t want to use more water than we need because it costs us money to turn on the pumps,” Martinez said.

And as the push to conserve water continues, Martinez believes this is one of the best tools for the future of farming.

“As costs increase, as water becomes more scarce, I think it’s going to force more people to use technology like this so that they can be sustainable,” Martinez said.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture is also offering grants for any growers who invest in water-saving tools like this.

See the original report from KTXL Fox 40 here.

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