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UT Saves Money, Water With $2 Million Irrigation Upgrade

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 09:47 PM CDT

The University of Texas has more than 125 acres of landscaping, so keeping it green during the drought can be a tough task.

The university has cut its automated water usage by 66 percent with a $2 million irrigation system.

Markus Hogue is in charge of 30,000 sprinklers on campus, and until now he has had his hands full.

"We have an average of 125 breaks in a given month," Hogue said. "It's being more efficient, this new system allows us to detect flows."

Repairs that took days now takes minutes which saves more than $800,000 a year and more than 10 million gallons of water in months.

"We are able to make a big difference, a huge impact, especially when we are in this drought," Hogue said.

Hogue is able to manage the water-saving system on his iPad from anywhere on campus. The system also monitors weather and evaporation rates.

"It's able to make changes, so we are putting back exactly the right amount of water," Hogue said. "We are not over watering, we're not under watering."

The university is also using xeriscaping and drip-irrigation systems to cut back on outdoor water usage.

Hogue said when it comes to saving water UT is leading the way. More than 10 universities and several central Texas cities are already studying the state-of-the-art system.

By Cassio GalloUT Saves Money, Water With $2 Million Irrigation Upgrade


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