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'Shark Tank' Winner Pitches Senate Panel On Water Saving Invention

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An Arcadia well digger turned celebrity inventor says he can cut a citrus grower's water use by more than 1,ooo percent.

On Tuesday, he asked lawmakers to give farmers incentives to install his simple, bucket-like device.  

Johnny Georges’ “Tree-T-Pee,” recently earned a $150,000 investment on Reality TV’s “Shark Tank.”  He told the Senate Agriculture Committee that growers are snapping it up in Florida as well as the Middle East.

“So I figured out a way to say, ‘Hey, we can use a whole lot less, do a whole lot better job, save the farmer money who grows the food that feeds us.’”

The plastic cone surrounds the base of citrus and other trees and traps sprinkler water that would normally spray up to nine feet away. Georges says he and his late father developed a cruder version in the 1980s.

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A Miami native, former WFSU reporter Jim Ash is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, most of it in print. He has been a member of the Florida Capital Press Corps since 1992.