4 Innovative Ways to Decrease Your Painful Water Costs

Rachio users love the fact that they can not only be part of saving our planet by conserving water, but they can also conserve costs too - though, you have to know how to set everything up correctly to get the most out of your watering schedules. Our community has the best suggestions for decreasing those costs just by switching up some of your zone settings, weather settings, and paying extra attention to your system.

Water Less Frequently - adjust your crop coefficient. It will adjust your watering frequency to help you save without sacrificing quality watering.

Water More Efficiently - calculate your precipitation rate. Making sure your precipitation rate is as accurate as possible will keep you from watering inefficiently and in the end, save you money by watering correctly. You can also check your water pressure to make sure an unnecessarily high pressure won’t force higher water use.

Ensure Your Soil Is Getting What It Needs - Using the Web Soil Survey, you can define your soil settings more accurately. Inaccurate soil settings can impact your scheduling and water use dramatically. If your soil holds water well, you’ll want to know that before turning your lawn into a pool. And vice versa. You can also try a catch cup test to nail down those advanced settings a little better.

Skip Watering During Less Than Desirable Weather - The worst thing to see is your sprinkler running during a rainstorm or water spraying everywhere except onto your plants during heavy winds. If you’re using Rachio, integrating with WUnderground means you can ensure your connected weather station is giving you the most accurate forecasts for your home (vs the airport 10 miles away.) P.S. the Rachio 3 automatically integrates with WUnderground!

Water is expensive, as it should be! We should all care about conserving water to the best of our ability so that our earth stays healthy (and our pocketbooks do too!) These tips will not only save you money, but water more efficiently. Do your part to save the planet!


These are great @laura.bauman!




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Thanks Laura for all the tips. While here in Christchurch we do not have water charges and I am not saving money, I know my actions are good for environment and my own lawn and plants


Hey @MDNZ - you’re very welcome! And we’re glad you think so! We agree :slight_smile: Taking even the smallest steps to do better for the environment is important! Thanks for being part of the Rachio family!!


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I don’t think changing the crop coefficient conserves water. Not from my observation. It simply changes the frequency and then Waters longer each time.

Most of the rachio settings do this. You push a setting one way to get more water and the software adjusts down somewhere else.
Change the root depth and it does the same watering longer and less frequently but the same total water. Change the soil type and the watering time might go down to prevent runoff and then just water more often.
An annoying shell game of settings until you simply adjust the minutes manually because the model might not be quite right to get enough water.
I realize the idea is to apply only as much water as is needed by the plants without wasting but it is a balance that can never be achieved. This is because the focus is on conserving water. Meaning the system is engineered to underwater by a little. This constant deficit causes the yard to suffer.

Also, why is less water good for the environment? More water is what promotes plant growth and reduces co2. Watering does not create or destroy water. It only saves money or not.

My thoughts.

Roots don’t like to be waterlogged because that deprives them of oxygen, which is necessary for uptake of nutrients and growth. Disease also develops in waterlogged roots.

Adjusting the crop coefficient to be matched with your plants can save water because it changes the interval between watering and does not change the water duration/amounts. Cumulatively, using the appropriate crop coefficient can save hundreds of gallons over an irrigation season and lead to healthier plants.

Area orchardists would agree that advances in tracking crop water use and application of water at the right time in the right amounts (similar to what Rachio does with good settings) has saved them during times of severe drought. Without understanding how plants use water, they may start watering way earlier than they should and deprive orchards of important nutrients (thus causing yellowing of leaves) while wasting water by watering too frequently. Tracking soil moisture by way of precipitation and evapotranspiration (as adjusted by crop coefficient) allows orchardists and now homeowners (yay!) to water the right amount when it’s the right time.


Thank you for the thoughtful response