Smart Irrigation Controllers – What Property Managers need to know

Property and facility managers have a lot to think about.  Finding innovative irrigation solutions that make business sense and at the same time help our environment can be a challenge.  Water, one of the increasingly precious resources is top of the list. 

Here are three facts that you need to know about Smart Controllers to help you make the decision to install this high-tech tool at your property:

Fact 1: Technology improves irrigation efficiency

So-called “smart” irrigation controllers have appeared on the market for use in residential and commercial applications since the early 2000’s.

The Irrigation Association ( defines “smart controllers” as controllers that reduce outdoor water use by monitoring and using information about site conditions such as soil moisture, rain, wind, slope, soil, plant type, and more, and applying the right amount of water based on those factors. Essentially, these irrigation controllers receive feedback from the ET Data and schedule or adjust irrigation duration and/or frequency accordingly.

For example, they would reduce watering in the cooler months and increase watering in the hot and dry months while conserving increasingly limited water resources. There are generally two types of smart controllers: climatologically-based controllers and soil moisture-based controllers.

Fact 2: Smart Irrigation Controllers are getting smarter

  • Climate-based controllers are also known as evapotranspiration, or ET, controllers. ET is the amount of water lost from the soil through evaporation plus the plant’s water loss, both of which are dramatically affected by weather conditions.
  • Soil moisture sensor (SMS), Soil moisture sensor smart controllers rely on the amount of moisture in the soil, measured by buried probes, to determine irrigation schedules.

Fact #3: The Smart controller capital investment pays off

Reduces water costs:  Studies show most smart controllers will save 25 and as much as 57% of the water costs annually. This is a significant water savings because, outdoor water can be as much as 70% of the total properties water costs in some regions of the U.S.

Rebates and Incentive Programs: Many local water districts offer rebates for installing Smart Controllers.  Customers have realized a one year return on investment after rebate and annual water savings (Case Study: Bowles Crossing)

Increases water efficiency-“Only use what you need” the cliché is true, technology of smart controllers designs the most efficient systems to maximize plant care and minimize water waste and runoff.

Environmentally Responsible– If reducing your water bill, receiving a rebate check or maximizing water efficiency isn’t enough, consider installing a Smart Irrigation Controller, because it is good for the planet. mapbild web search history

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