California drought inspires innovation

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

Tal-Ya difference
The Tal-Ya technology can dramatically improve crop growth.

This year, California experienced one of the warmest winters on record, and it did nothing to help the severe drought drying out the state. It’s estimated that the agricultural (farming) industry uses about 70% of the water, so they definitely feel the effects of the drought. There is a plus side, however, since these severe weather conditions have inspired some high-tech innovations to use water more efficiently than ever before.

One example comes from a company called Tal-Ya and their multi-purpose trays. The small plastic products cover the area around a plant. Not only does this protect the base of the plant from extreme weather conditions, it also directs water straight to the roots, prevents weeds from growing around the plant, and increases the amount of sunlight exposure the plant receives. Altogether, it effectively reduces water consumption by a whopping 50%, decreases fertilizer use by 50%, and can replace the often toxic chemicals used in weed killing.

While Tal-Ya is taking a more grounded approach to saving water, the company Hanging Gardens is taking root on the rooftops of buildings. Essentially, the company builds eco-friendly solutions to recycle falling storm water, including planting rooftop gardens, storing water for future use, and detecting any leaks.

There’s no saying when the drought will end, but hopefully the high-tech solutions it’s inspiring will soften the blow of its impact, and fight future disasters.

Images courtesy of Tal-Ya.