Oakland has good track record when it comes to water conservation. Through times of drought and flood, the city conserves 15 percent more water on average than the rest of the state, according to the East Bay Municipal Utility District.

With California experiencing its driest year on record, Oakland-based Fruition Sciences is looking to add to our city’s track record of sustainable water use through new technologies.

Elias Fernandez, a Napa winemaker, spoke with the Peninsula Press about monitors from Fruition Sciences he installed on his grape vines that send him text messages when the plants need water.

“In the old days you would look at a vine and say, ‘Yeah, it looks like it needs water,’ and 60 percent of the time those decisions were probably the wrong thing to do,” Fernandez said. “Today, with this, you can actually get into what the vine is sensing.”

Fernandez can also monitor the weather, atmosphere, humidity and wind speed though his computer. In the past year, he says the monitors have helped him save more than 160,000 gallons of water. At Dana Estates, Director of Winemaking Cameron Vawter says the sensors have saved 2.5 million gallons of water across three wineries.

Read more at Live Work Oakland

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