Good ways to reduce water usage?


#1

Hi all -

Because of the drought here in California (I’m in Silicon Valley), I’d like to cut our water usage down as much as possible. The Iro has been a big improvement over our old sprinkler system, so thanks!

Before converting the yard to xeriscape, I’d like to see if I can scale back the watering even more since the yard is looking pretty lush and the soil is damper than I think it needs to be. What’s the best way to further cut water usage while still keeping seasonal adjustments, etc?

My first steps:

  • I did a rough irrigation audit to estimate true flow rates and distribution uniformity. I scattered around 5 bowls of known top diameter in each zone, weighed the water in each after running the sprinkler for 10 minutes, and used that to estimate cubic inches of water per square inch of lawn per hour. I estimated DU for each zone as the minimum # of cubic inches / the average # of cubic inches.
  • I measured the lawn to get accurate square footages into the app

I discovered that the default flow rates were pretty close to correct (nice!), but the efficiency looks overly pessimistic, so I’ve increased that a bit.

I figure the next step is to experiment with increasing the allowed depletion percentages. Any suggestions there? Is there anything else I should try?

Thanks!

Geoff

PS I was very pleased to discover the water hammer minimization. I’m looking forward to not being awakened by the sprinkler system on weekends!


#2

@geoff

Love the attitude! Sounds like you are quickly becoming an expert in efficiency, flow rate, etc. It’s so great to see people start to learn about those things. I knew nothing regarding irrigation before we built the Iro.

In May we are releasing a major 2.0 version of our software. I will be posting screenshots soon but trust me it’s going to be amazing :wink:

While we are pleased with ‘water budgeting’, we continue to strive to save more water and be more efficient.

A major concept we are releasing with 2.0 is called ‘Flexible Schedules’. This concept is based on management allowed depletion. We will track each zone like a checkbook measuring evapotranspiration (debit) and irrigation/precipitation events (credit). You will select zones to be in the flexible schedule and tell us which days you are allowed to water (or any days). From there, we will track soil moisture levels only watering when a zone is fully depleted. This will allow us to have ultimate flexibility (some months or weeks maybe you are only watering once a week or less, or when it is really hot 2x-3x per week). It will also help your lawn grow longer roots and be hardier.

Having already dialed in your system, this will transition beautifully.

Let us know if you have any questions or feedback, thanks for being a customer!


What is eta of Version 2?
2 Scheduling Use Cases: Give Rachio control or take control myself?
Exposing the evaporation coefficient?
Implementing Mandatory Drought Watering Reductions
#3

@franz, sounds great! The approach makes a lot of sense - thanks for the preview!


#4

Hi FYI last nights seasonal adjustment update placed my water reduction switch into the off position.
I live in California and they are killing us on our water bills, reduction on usage as well as the time of watering.


#5

@JNotar – could you explain what you experienced in more detail or contact our support team [support@rachio.com]? The Water Budgeting feature will not disable any toggles into the off position. It will only increase or decrease the seasonal adjustment for the watering time on a weekly basis.


#6

Hello emil
To clarify I am speaking about the switch is this a water restriction.
I can’t seem to pin point the problem because it happened again last night as well.
I turned the switch to on and saved it got out of the application went back in and it was fine I went saved it again and went back out for the second time came back and it had been switched to the off position.


#7

@JNotar, hmm…that’s interesting. What type of phone are you using? We’ll try to reproduce this in house.

Thanks, Emil


#8

Hi there I am using an IPhone 6 with 8.3


#9

Thanks @JNotar. We’ll look into this.