by Lesley Sabas Ruano


Since around the year 2000, the United States’ entire western and primarily southern regions have faced severe droughts. Droughts are caused by below-average precipitation and an above-average persistence of high pressure over the affected area. Changes in extratropical cyclone track, which can arise during weather cycles such as the El Nino-Southern Oscillation, as well as the North Atlantic Oscillation, Pacific Decadal Oscillation, and Atlantic multidecadal oscillation, regulate which areas are more vulnerable to drought. Drought frequency and severity are also projected to increase as a result of global warming. Low precipitation influences soil moisture as well as the amount of water in streams, rivers, lakes, and groundwater. Drought has serious consequences that don’t just affect water sources but also public health, the economy, the public infrastructure, and more. Droughts had a severe economic impact on the United States throughout the 1930s and 1940s, during the ‘Dust Bowl’ years when relief and health organizations were inundated and many local community banks had to close.


In order to deal with the effects of droughts, better water management needs to be present. Water conservation and efficiency are critical for reducing water scarcity in cities and urban areas. SupPlant, an Israeli irrigation tech startup could fix many of the causes of droughts affecting the United States. The startup’s AI-powered technology analyzes live data from plants, soil, and weather sensors. The sensors can be placed on the plant’s ground, track, leaves, foot, and fruit. The system then captures plant size measurement data every half-hour and transfers it to farmers via a digital dashboard. This data is analyzed by SupPlant’s proprietary algorithm, which gives real-time, forecasted insights and irrigation recommendations based on plant stress, plant and fruit growth patterns, real-time and forecasted weather conditions, and soil water content. This ensures healthy and powerful crops while conserving water.


Write to Lesley Sabas Ruano, Market Analyst Intern at the Israel Economic Mission to the West Coast, at