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Area farmers using smartphone apps to save water

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Dumas, TX - Area farmers are finding new ways to save water and they're using new technology to save costs as well.

The North Plains Groundwater Conservation District is working with farmers to use technology in manage crops efficiently.

Those involved have begun using smartphone apps, allowing them to do many things simply with a push of a button.

"If I want to set a particular area that I want it to stop or send me an alarm. If I need to stop it in a certain area then I can set the degree so when it gets to that point you'll get an alert message," says Harold Grall, Farmer in Dumas, TX.

Harold Grall is an area farmer who is part of the 212 Program and helping pave the way for many others.

"They can just sit there in the living room with their cell phone in hand and start the well, start the sprinkler, set the direction of the sprinkler...if they want it to go clockwise or counterclockwise. They can set the speed of it and see exactly with the GPS where it's located in the field," says Harold Grall, Farmer in Dumas, TX.  

The apps are also helping conserve water from the Ogallala Aquifer.

"If we can save water and leave water in the ground because of farmers not over-watering in the area, or have something broken down, or the sprinklers running, then that saves water and helps us in the future," says Steve Walthour, North Plains Groundwater Conservation District. 

More apps are expected to come out as more vendors use satellite imagery to determine what issues need to be addressed.

"They're developing the apps because they want us to use our products. As farmers get used to using apps and phones these companies like john deer, pivot track, aqua-spy, are going to come up with more apps," says Steve Walthour, North Plains Groundwater Conservation District.

The North Plains Groundwater Conservation District says they have high hopes for the future of their program and would like for it to expand.

"We feel like if we can have an adoption of the 212 program throughout the eight counties we can easily save half of what we use now and that's a significant impact we can have even on the overall state-wide water system," says Kirk Welch, North Plains Groundwater Conservation District.

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