This machine is the latest technology in the fight for water conservation, and it was developed locally through Fresno State's Incubator project. Now the university is using the machine to reduce their water consumption.
"As you know we are in the third year of a major drought here in the Central Valley, and water is truly a precious resource," said Robert Boyd, associate vice president of facilities management.
The machine uses 3,000 pounds of pressure to aerate existing turf and deposit a jell pocket 8 inches underground. The jell pill pockets hold 40 times their weight in water and are able to release moisture to the plant's root as needed.
Once the gel pill pockets are injected into the grass, groundskeepers can reduce the amount of water that they use to keep the grass green, while still avoiding any of the dry grass.
The process has already proven to be successful in test areas like the Lady Bulldogs softball stadium and the Fresno State Peace Garden. Now the new technology is being combined with more traditional approaches to conserve water in other areas as well.
"In our farmlands, we have shifted over quite a bit of our operation to micro mist, and drip tape and those types of technology changes so that we can reduce that conservation measure as well," said Boyd.