Center for Landscape & Urban Horticulture
University of California
Center for Landscape & Urban Horticulture

Evaluation of California Weather-Based "SMART" Irrigation Controller Programs

Smart controllers (commonly referred to as ET controllers, weather-based irrigation controllers, smart sprinkler controllers, and water smart irrigation controllers) are a new generation of irrigation controllers that utilize prevailing weather conditions, current and historic evapotranspiration, soil moisture levels, and other relevant factors to adapt water applications to meet the actual needs of plants.

HydroPoint Controller
Smart Irrigation Controller
Irritrol Smartdial Irrigation Controller
This report presents results in the following areas of the California smart controller programs funded through DWR grants:

  • Process evaluation of Program implemenation
    • Customer satisfaction with smart controller products and smart controller distribution programs.
    • Participating agency program implementation methods, results, successes and lessons learned.
  • WBIC Program Descriptive Statistics
    • What smart controller technologies were installed? Where were they installed? How were they installed? What were the climate conditions during the pre- and post-installation periods? What was the water use before and after installation of the smart controller?
    • Key data are presented by agency, region, and statewide.
  • Impact Evaluation
    • What water savings resulted from the installation of the smart control technology? What factors influenced water use? How did different smart controller technologies perform in the field?
    • Given the water savings achieved, what is the cost effectiveness of smart controller technology? What amount of water utility rebate is justified to encourage adoption of this technology? What level of customer investment in smart controller technology is reasonable given the measured water savings? What level of customer investment in smart controller technology is reasonable given the measured water savings?

For the entire report, please visit Aquacraft-2009-Evaluation-of-California-Weather-Based-Smart-Irrigation-Controller-Programs.

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