Okay, I made up the name, but here’s the idea: First, use Flex Daily, IMHO the only automatic system possible (the only one Rachio has that varies watering based on actual temperature and rainfall conditions). Use the same basic zone questions and such that you have - they’re all just fine. The main difference, is how they get changed.
Right now, if we want more or less water on a zone during any given day, we can vary Available Water, Root Depth, Allowed Depletion, Efficiency, Nozzle Inches per Hour and Minutes of irrigation. All will change how much it waters on a given day, some will modify how often it waters, some won’t. But it’s all calculated based on those variables, a value for inches of water is calculated, and from that the time. Keep that value, like you normally do. That’s variable one, Water At Once.
The next variable is how much water is applied over time, usually a week or so, which varies with Temperature, Humidity, Wind, etc. (you’ve got all those nailed with ET) and Crop Coefficient. How often the system waters, on average, is simply the water applied at one time, divided by the calculated ET. Crop Coefficient matters, of course, but that should be set with type of crop or grass. Anyhow, for a given week, you will water the value of ET (daily) x 7.
You do all that now. My proposal, for Cruise Control, is to allow the user to, as an alternative to Advanced Settings, simply move two sliders, one for each of the two calculated variables above:
Water At Once: Less…^…Recommended…More
Water per Week: Less…^…More
There is no need to enter any Advanced value. All of them change one, the other or both of these two variables. Many of the variables are not all that fixed. Certainly Nozzle Inches per Hour is extremely difficult to determine. And even if it’s absolute, is everything else right? With too many variables to change, good results can be difficult to obtain.
But everyone that uses every irrigation system can tell you if: The system puts too much water on the yard at any one time, creating puddles or overflowing. Or the system doesn’t get enough water for its needs over time.
Just a slider for each of those two variables, which are applied to the internal variables for these that your program uses. You wouldn’t have to touch ANY advanced settings, because those two do it all. If a person wants to water more often with less water, they’d only change the Water At Once slider. The reverse for more water, less often. The Water per Week slider is only for long term.
You would, probably, have to have both sliders for each zone. And it would be best if you had an overall slider that affected all of them. But that’s it. You’d move the general sliders, unless a zone varied significantly, then adjust the sliders for that zone.