Two problems confront communities in Southern California – housing and water . While more houses can be built, the amount of water available for Southern California is limited. Each year a significant portion of water used is coming from difficult to replace groundwater, deep under the surface. About 85% of Californians depend on groundwater for some portion of their water supply. Some communities rely entirely on groundwater for drinking water.
Homeowners can be part of the solution with the use of new technologies to be more efficient in their use of water. Savings of 30-50% are available via the use of smart irrigation devices. These systems simplify home lawn and garden care and reduce water consumption. Instead of fixed timers, these systems draw on data from sensors, weather forecasts, and plant-care databases to determine watering needs and deliver just enough moisture at just the right time. Lower your water bills and check up on your plants from anywhere in the world using mobile and web apps. Ranging from just over $100 and up, systems offer a variety of capabilities.
- Rain Sensors
These prevent watering when it is raining and just after it has rained.
- Weather-Based Controllers
Integrate weather forecasts and conditions to provide the correct amount of water to each outdoor area. Many devices can program for different parts of a yard that may have differing watering needs. These can save significant amounts of water and ensure an attractive outdoor area.
- Sensor-Based Controllers
Using sensors in the ground, moisture levels can be maintained in a desired range providing optimal water for each planting area. Water savings of up to 70% are possible while allowing each area to receive precisely the amount of water it needs.
- Pressure Regulation
All sprinklers operate best at a certain water pressure. At those pressures, the water distribution is most uniform across the entire area as opposed to overwatering some areas to provide sufficient water to the area most in need.
- High-Efficiency Nozzles
Low technology is represented with high efficiency nozzles which provide smooth distribution and more efficient watering.
- Drip Irrigation
By using low volume distribution points at the base of plants or underground, less water is lost to wind, runoff and evaporation. These systems allow beautiful plants with maximum water savings.
One researcher noted that a concerted effort to use water more wisely could save up to 32 billion gallons a year. Using smart technology for outdoor watering can make a significant contribution to that goal.