Weather-based irrigation controllers can help save 110 billion gal of water per year
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) WaterSense program announced that irrigation controllers will soon be the first outdoor product eligible to earn the WaterSense label. The most efficient irrigation controllers, which operate like thermostats for a sprinkler system by telling it when to turn on and off, may provide home and building owners the ability to save 110 billion gal of water and roughly $410 million per year on utility bills.
“As much as half of the water we use on our landscapes goes to waste due to evaporation, wind and improperly scheduled irrigation systems,” said Sheila Frace, director of EPA’s Office of Water’s Municipal Support Div. “WaterSense-labeled irrigation controllers are designed to do the thinking for you and apply water only when needed, to ensure a healthy landscape that doesn’t waste water.”
Residential outdoor watering in the United States accounts for more than 7 billion gal of water each day, mainly for landscape irrigation. When watering schedules for irrigation systems are set during the hottest and driest months and not adjusted when the weather changes, the result is overwatering for much of the year. WaterSense-labeled irrigation controllers, which monitor watering needs based on local weather data, can use significantly less water by applying water only when plants need it—reducing annual water bills and offering convenience while keeping landscapes healthy.
Controllers with the WaterSense label could be available in spring 2012. Like all other WaterSense-labeled products, WaterSense-labeled irrigation controllers must be independently certified to meet EPA’s criteria for water efficiency and performance.