Smart Irrigation Controllers Save 25-50% on Landscape Irrigation and Damage from Overwatering
California mandates are on the way -- many municipalities are instituting mandates to curb outdoor irrigation today.
According to WeatherTRAK, who draws on years of experience in designing and implementing landscape conservation programs, some agencies face political barriers or consumer resistance to saving water. Past conservation programs have produced largely disappointing results, causing enthusiasm to dwindle.
SUCCESS STORY: 25% SavingsThe widespread implementation of low-flow plumbing devices has saved significant amounts of water in the past decade. In Los Angeles, California, the powerful combination of a federal code requiring low-flow plumbing devices in new developments and rebates for installing these devices in homes and commercial sites has reduced water demand by twenty-five percent.
New Conservation Efforts Transitioning from the Indoors to the OutdoorsWater agencies must ensure that their water infrastructure can satisfy peak demand and emergency flow requirements. Peak usage is in the hottest weather period when demand for landscape water is greatest.
Analysis has shown that agency demand curve peaks have been pushed to artificially high levels because landscapes need significantly less water than is typically applied to them.
If landscape water use were efficient, the water infrastructure and supply would accommodate many more customers without costly upgrades. Moreover, customers would pay less for water. The result is a win-win for elected water officials: a more reliable water supply and satisfied customers.
SUCCESS STORY: 45% SavingsExamining current agency programs and past studies data, we see that it is likely that as much as 50% of current landscape water could be saved. For example, in Irvine, California, landscape water conservation programs have reduced commercial irrigation by 45%.
The advantages to landscape water conservation are far-reaching. Not only is the need for expensive infrastructure upgrades reduced, but there are also measurable environmental benefits. Efficient landscape water use yields significant dividends by reducing the tremendous costs incurred in pumping and transporting water.
It is estimated that it requires 10 TO 30% of California’s total energy supply to move water from its source to the regions in which it is consumed (California Urban Water Conservation Council, 2001).
Landscape water runoff contains pollutants from fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides that are now being measured in our lakes, streams, bays, and oceans. Metropolitan Water District of Orange County (MWDOC) conducted a peer-reviewed study that documented the relationship between landscape water waste and non-point source water pollution.
Consumer support can be quickly won through significant cost savings in individual water bills and overall water delivery system costs.
Landscape water efficiency is likely to be a water provider’s cheapest supply of new water.
Weather Based Irrigation Controllers can Save 35% of Landscape Water UseBased on results of a California pilot program that were extrapolated across a larger customer base, one water district found that the installation of weather-based irrigation controllers would save 35% of water currently applied to landscapes in the service area.
The water district determined that installing the controllers would cost 29% less than securing more water through infrastructure expansion and water purchases.
Indoor water savings have been realized in most communities. But the American Water Works Association (AWWA) reports that 58% of non-agricultural water is applied to residential and commercial landscapes, whereas toilets use just 11%.
Low-flow toilets save water automatically with every flush, but they were a tough sell to many consumers. By contrast, convincing consumers to adopt effective outdoor conservation appliances has been easier because people enjoy spending time in their gardens.
80% of American households participate in some form of gardening for enjoyment, environmental benefit, or enhanced property value(National Gardening Association survey, 2003).
Water district staff reports that water use is actually higher today in new homes than in older homes with comparable lot and structure sizes. This is despite:
Introducing Weather-based Irrigation ManagementIn 1998, the first weather-based controller was tested for its ability to accurately schedule and adjust irrigation by MWD and the Irvine Ranch Water District (IRWD). Existing residential controllers were removed and replaced with WeatherTRAK-enabled controllers in forty homes. New levels of water usage were compared against historical water usage for the same households.
Following are the results of this study:
A broad range of studies with varied settings and objectives has proven the benefits of weather-based irrigation management. WeatherTRAK-enabled controllers, now available from The Toro Company, Irritrol Systems, and HydroPoint Data Systems, have been tested more than all other products combined.
One of many programs worthy of note is the California EPA-funded study of the use of WeatherTRAK-enabled controllers in micro-watershed areas. Study methodology tested the controllers in neighborhoods of three-to-four-hundred homes with street landscapes as well as homeowner association common areas and parks.
The goal was to measure the ability of weather-based irrigation controllers to reduce urban runoff and non-point source water pollution through precise calculation of water applications.
The study found that:
RUNOFF in neighborhoods with WeatherTRAK-enabled controllers was reduced by 71%, when compared to control neighborhoods.These impressive results led directly to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation providing $1.5 million in rebate funds for Orange County-based water agencies to distribute to consumers who install approved smart controllers.
The ability to broadcast weather-based data (local evapotranspiration, or ET, values) and automate plant-specific irrigation scheduling provides additional benefits, including:
Peaking Management Service: daily, wireless transmission of ET data for maximum water use efficiency.
To read the full explanation of adopting and implementing a new water conservation program for your community, contact WeatherTRAK for their white paper by Tom Ash, entitled, "How to Implement a Cost-effective Landscape Water Efficiency Program".
1720 Corporate Circle
Petaluma, CA 94954 USA
Natural Resources | Water
Managing Black, Brown and Greywater
California Central Valley is Listed High in Water Depletion Centers Globally
Related Green ResourcesMarcom Tips
Interactive & Video Tips
We encourage lifelong learning to support sustainable communities and provide these select resources to help you pursue green and sustainable self-development:Lorman Business Training Directory of On-line Business and Compliance Classes
Green Job Wizard Job and Career Certifications Directory
Job & Career Resources
Contact Us ~ Home
Text Link AdsAD: Place your link here
|CONSUMERS | Backyard Nature | Senior Health | MultiMedia Marketing | Marketing | Networking Events | Japan ||