Drought Is The Mother Of Invention

Hewlett-Packard Co. used to pour 40,000 gallons of water a day into its Silicon Valley lawns--a luxury considering California's five-year drought. But instead of simply turning off the taps, HP turned on the technology. Now, a computer crunches data from infrared aerial photos, microprocessor-equipped moisture sensors, and a rooftop weather station, calculating precisely how much the greenery needs. Gardeners avoid waste by controlling valves with portable radio transmitters. The result: Since 1987, HP has slashed water use to 23,000 gallons a day.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.