The IRROMETER Company was founded in Riverside, CA in 1951. While at the Citrus Experiment Station at the University of California Riverside in the late 1940's, inventor Tom Prosser witnessed crude, homemade tensiometers in use and immediately saw the potential for farmers to use these instruments as tools for scheduling irrigation. Prosser set about designing user friendly, robust versions of these homemade instruments which could be economically manufactured for sale, and in 1951 the IRROMETER (or "irrigation meter") was born, fulfilling Prosser's vision of a commercially available Tensiometer.

Being in business since 1951, the company has been manufacturing soil moisture measuring, controlling, and sampling instruments used worldwide for scheduling irrigation, featuring such Principal brand names as IRROMETER (Tensiometer) and WATERMARK (electrical resistance granular matrix sensor). These soil water potential/tension measuring instruments originated in the early part of the 20th Century, and were used by soil and plant scientists to measure soil water status in their experiments.

IRROMETER was the first company to produce commercially viable versions of this technology, and although this technology is scientific instrumentation, the instruments are inexpensive and easy to use for all irrigation applications. The use of soil moisture based irrigation scheduling has been proven an efficient way to deliver irrigation water for agriculture, nursery/greenhouse and landscape/urban irrigation. Further, the instrumentation can be used for controlling (automatic irrigation systems) and signaling (for data logging systems and inputs to weather stations).

With the development of electronic interfaces for automated irrigation systems used in landscape irrigation, the use of WATERMARK sensor technology now has become a "SMART" irrigation system technology. Water purveyors and the EPA are embracing the concept of "SMART" irrigation systems as a means to prevent the overuse of water in landscape irrigation.

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