- The problem:
Utilizing a truck and ATV, 70-year-old Gary Mangels would traverse the sprawling terrain of his family’s ranch, spending twenty hours a week manually managing the water for hundreds of acres of land. Keep reading to learn how meter.me let’s Gary remotely manage his water and reclaim his precious time.
Reclaiming Time for Ranchers
Brothers Gary and John Mangels are ranchers in the Suisun Valley. They tend to cattle, maintain a vineyard, and run a tasting room, all on their 600-acre property. The Mangels Ranch has a long history that first began in 1866 when Louis Mangels immigrated from Germany with his family. Settling in California, Louis quickly began learning the craft of winemaking that would be passed down through his family for generations, culminating in the founding of Mangels Vineyards in 2009.
Before meter.me, Gary and John traversed their 600-acre family land multiple times a week in the hot part of the year to check water levels. The ranch once received water from a spring on the property, but it dried up years ago. So now the Mangels buy water by the gallon from the city. The water is delivered to the ranch and pumped into their tanks via solar power.
Their tanks are spread throughout their property, equating to 30 miles and 2.5 hours of driving per trip. Monitoring and maintaining the tanks was a significant time and resource drain, and it was almost always too late when a problem was identified. Since the Mangels pay the city for water, losing water was a threat to their cattle and vineyard— and their bottom line.
Around 2 million farmers just like Gary and John exist in the US alone. Analog systems simply are not designed to work with operations on such vast terrain without electricity and cell service. Existing water management systems are cost-prohibitive in these situations as they are truly only designed to serve large-scale corporate operations.
Meter.me was the perfect solution for the Mangels brothers because it was a fraction of the price of competing systems, yet it also offered better features.
Once meter.me was installed, Gary told us, “Being able to monitor the water level to know when water is needed and being able to remotely start the pumps is real labor-saving and makes meter.me so valuable to Mangels Ranch.”
Meter.me presented significant savings for the Mangels Ranch. The Mangels brothers estimate meter.me has saved them 2500 hours and $21,000 in gas because they no longer have to travel the expanse of their property to check their water levels. They also estimate meter.me has saved them $20,000 in out-of-pocket water costs because they can now detect issues before water loss gets out of hand.
These time and money savings are significant, and the benefits continue. Because Gary and John now have their water situation under control, this means decreased risk of bodily injury, risk of fire, and death of cattle.
Meter.me helped Gary and John reclaim their time so they can tend to the ranch and continue their family’s tradition of winemaking. The power and usefulness of meter.me is apparent here: not only does meter.me help people like the Mangels monitor their water so they can tend their land and conserve water, but it also allows farmers and ranchers to hold onto family history.