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Irrigation Savings with Internet-enabled Irrigation Systems - Case Study

Replace wasteful watering with smart water management irrigation system using Internet and central control. Case study of Hydropoint and city project.

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Salem City, Utah saved nearly one million gallons of water in just 180 days with HydroPoint's WeatherTRAK Smart Water Management solution.

Internet-enabled, Central-control Irrigation Systems

To achieve these savings, Salem City replaced inefficient irrigation timers with WeatherTRAK Internet-enabled, central-control irrigation systems at City Hall, the town cemetery and three parks. Salem subsequently implemented WeatherTRAK smart controllers at landscaped sites throughout the City.
Salem City's Smart Water Management program was funded in part by a grant from the Central Utah Water Conservancy District. Utah's water consumption is second only to that of Nevada at 293 gallons per person per day. The state's goal is to reduce per-capita consumption by 25 percent by 2050. To this end, Utah water agencies have implemented a range of rebates for water-efficient devices as well as ordinances that ban wasteful watering practices. Salem's Smart Water Management program savings are unmatched by any other measure, which is why the City is working to expand the program's scope to include local businesses and residences.

In implementing Smart Water Management, Salem City was prompted by the need to avoid or offset water system infrastructure upgrades. For example, Salem faces a $1.5 million expense to meter consumers' water usage. If the City can curb unsustainable water use, such projects may be subsidized by water cost savings or even rendered unnecessary. Salem City's Parks Department has seen its own water bill cut in half, a compelling financial benefit expected to motivate the town's business and home owners to follow suit in adopting smart irrigation technology for their own landscapes.
Salem City also saves time with Smart Water Management. While Salem's previous irrigation systems required manual adjustments each time the local weather changed, the WeatherTRAK solution dynamically adjusts watering schedules as conditions warrant. Additional scheduling changes are made remotely from any location with Internet access. The City estimates that its five Parks Department employees will gain two to five hours per week during the six-month irrigation season.
The City's selection of the WeatherTRAK solution followed a comprehensive review of central control systems, a process aided by experts at the Sprinkler Supply Company, a leading irrigation equipment distributor. While numerous technologies, including on-site weather stations, were considered, WeatherTRAK smart controllers were selected for their proven ability to maximize water and cost savings along with the usability and access they deliver to all Parks Department employees.
"By leading by example when it comes to conservation, Salem is demonstrating that sustainable water use is not only achievable, but that it is also attractive from financial and operational perspectives," said Salem's City Engineer Bruce Ward, P.E. Mr. Ward continued, "We're excited about our water savings, and we know Salem's citizens will enjoy the healthy landscapes and cost savings that the WeatherTRAK solution delivers."
"Salem City's program represents an excellent model for cities everywhere looking for maximum returns on their water efficiency programs," said Sharon Thompson, vice president of marketing, HydroPoint. Ms. Thompson added, "If water savings like these are possible in the desert, they can be achieved anywhere."

HydroPoint, is a market and technology leader in Smart Water Management.

The company's WeatherTRAK solution uniquely delivers a multitude of financial and environmental benefits by revolutionizing management of the area of greatest waste in urban water use: landscape irrigation. Proven in 23 independent studies, including the vanguard pollution runoff study led by the EPA, the WeatherTRAK solution saves water, reduces energy demand and protects water quality while it minimizes liability and expense exposure. In 2009 alone, WeatherTRAK subscribers saved more than 11 billion gallons of water, 45 million kilowatt hours and 60 million pounds of CO2. Facing water rates ranging from $2 to $6 per 1,000 gallons and additional related expenses due to overwatering damages ranging from $500 to $10,000 per site, leading companies across the U.S. have identified WeatherTRAK as the green initiative with the fastest payback. Headquartered in Petaluma, Calif., HydroPoint is privately owned and operated.

Edited by Carolyn Allen, Managing Editor of Solutions For Green

Publication Date: 5/21/2010


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