Smart Irrigation Controls Incentive Program entices residents to conserve water

Smart Irrigation Controls

Words by Nichole Zangara / Environment, Utilities

Mountain Village launches its sixth and final environmental incentive program for 2016. The premise behind the town’s newest incentive – Smart Irrigation Controls – is to help water customers use only the water they need to achieve desired results on their property. Globally, water is becoming an increasingly scarce and precious resource, and water use data indicates that water conservation efforts may be most effective during the summer irrigation season, when a drastic increase in water usage occurs for landscaping purposes. To assist with these efforts, Mountain Village encourages water customers to replace their outdated irrigation control system with a WaterSense® product, which includes weather-sensing capabilities. In turn, the town will cover the cost of the controller, up to $500.

“Although we absolutely support using enough water to keep your lawns healthy and flowers blooming, we want to encourage the smart use of water that incorporates local weather data to ensure only the necessary amount is being used,” explained Environmental Services Director Deanna Drew. “This is another example of how technology is helping us to reduce waste and conserve resources.”

In this case, the technology is WaterSense®, certified smart irrigation control products that meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s specifications for water efficiency and performance. According to Drew, smart irrigation controllers use real-time local weather data, including humidity, air temperature, wind speed, soil moisture, solar radiation and rainfall to calculate evapotranspiration rates and automatically adjust irrigation watering accordingly.

“Technology for such controls is advancing rapidly. There are currently several irrigation controls that carry the EPA WaterSense® label and incorporate local weather data to determine the amount of water needed for different irrigation zones,” said Drew.

Most smart irrigation controllers either connect to the Internet to gather weather data from a nearby weather station, or collect real-time weather data from an onsite station on one’s property. Some of these controllers can be monitored over the Internet and the settings controlled remotely, while others can be linked to other “smart” devices in one’s home. With a smart irrigation controller, plants and lawn get the water they need, without being over or under watered.

To learn more about the program and the necessary steps to take in order to receive up to $500 for replacing one’s irrigation control system, visit townofmountainvillage.com/green-living/incentive-programs/smart-irrigation-controls. And to explore other ways to prevent unnecessary water loss and to conserve water, follow townofmountainvillage.com/residents/water-conservation. This $20,000 incentive program is open until funds are exhausted, and is for residents of Mountain Village, Ski Ranches and West Meadows only.