UT student using drones to help campus save water for landscaping
AUSTIN — A student at the University of Texas at Austin is gathering data that he hopes will help the campus reduce its water use by millions of gallons every year.
Marwan Madi, a junior from Sugarland, came up with the idea to use drones and a camera that measures the health of plants with some friends in high school. The group won a state competition for the proposal and received an innovation award at a national event in Washington, D.C.
“We were like, ‘I wonder if we can continue this concept somehow,'” Madi said. Several of the students enrolled at UT, where the irrigation and water conservation program coordinator, Markus Hogue, had been looking for a way to use the technology to reduce water usage.
Right now Hogue and Madi are still gathering data around the landscape around the LBJ Presidential Library, which Hogue said uses a full 20 percent of the water the university uses to irrigate the entire campus.
They’ll use the data they collect to reduce watering and measure how it impacts both the health and the beauty of the landscape.