Per-Zone Water Usage

Rachio probably calculates it internally, but as far as I know there is no way to view water usage on a per-zone basis. This might be interesting given the significant difference between a turf zone and a small drip zone, for example.

Hey @ldslaron-

There is currently no way to do this in the Rachio app, but it is a common feature request. Do you have a flow sensor, or do you rely on the Rachio estimates based on your settings?

McKynzee :rachio:

I just look at the Rachio estimates, @mckynzee (no flow sensor). I was thinking it would be cool to see a stacked bar graph in the app that shows water use per zone. Since Rachio knows the precipitation rate, duration, and zone area it seems like this should just be breaking down the calculation it is already doing for the total without a flow sensor, right?

Since its a common feature request… can you tell us if its on the roadmap and if so any kind of rough timeline? I’d purchase a flow sensor if I could see real per zone data. My largest concern is cost, last august my water bill was just over $650 for water, most of which went to irrigation. If I could identify which zones were costing me the most, I’d put in the effort into optimizing those zones. focusing on proper head placement and even water distribution, leaks, catch cup tests, etc… Without real usage data per zone, there’s no way I’d go thru all the work of investigating all 16 zones. I was really hoping would pay for itself in savings, that doesn’t seem to be the case when you live in a desert with very little summer rainfall but I’m optimistic with better data that it still can!

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@lokuly and @mckynzee, I think all we need for this calculation is the cumulative inches Rachio watered per zone and the zone’s square footage. One gallon is 231 cubic inches and a square foot is 144 square inches, so if we drop a gallon on an area of one square foot we should have ~1.604 inches. Similarly if Rachio tells us we watered an inch on one square foot we have 144/231 or ~0.6234 gallons. In practical terms, watering 0.5 inches on 1000 square feet should be ~312 gallons. Please check my math, but if there is a way to retrieve total inches per zone from the watering history the rest should be easy.


I think you almost have it, but you would also have to take the watering efficiency into account, if using Rachio’s reported precipitation amount. I think using the watering time x nozzle precipitation rate would give the total amount of precipitation for the zone. e.g. 30 minutes x 1.5 in/hr = 0.75 inches. Multiply by zone area to get cubic feet and convert to gallons. You could calculate the gallons per hour for each zone, and then just use the watering time to get total water used.

@ldslaron and @jkb between the two of you you have usage figured out! The equation can be found here.

@lokuly I can tell you it’s on the roadmap, but I can’t give timeline. I can however tell you it will not be this watering season. I think I can create a workaround with IFTTT and GSheets. If I was able to do this, would you guys be interested?

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I’m looking for actual water usage per zone, not an estimate. The only reason I want water usage is to ensure I’m not wasting water. Estimates based on those calculations make the assumption the the irrigation system as a whole is in good working order. If you have a broken head and don’t know it, you’re going to use a lot more water but your calculations won’t show that. If you have a broken pipe, same thing. I recently moved some sprinkler heads to the other side of a fence, in the process realized I had a broken pipe. Not sure how long its been like that but If I’m spending over $650 in just one month for water I’d sure like to know. I’d also like to know if there are any other breaks that I don’t know about? everyone says, if you have a break you’d know but I sure didn’t. No puddles, no settling. it was pretty apparent after I dug two feet down that something wasn’t right. The best thing I can probably do at this point,without switching to a different irrigation controller, is to add a stand alone water meter that I manually check form time to time or possibly even watch the water meter from the utility company as a run zone individually and manually track that over time.

Thanks for the response @mckynzee. I’m glad to hear its in the roadmap. I’d be open to IFTTT and Gsheets if it tracks actually usage per zone vs estimates. that wouldn’t be ideal but much better than manually checking the water meeting as zones are running.

If you want to be able to constantly be apprised of aberrations like that, I agree you’d need a flow meter plus a Rachio software update. My understanding is that Rachio supports using a flow meter, so we’re partway there at least.

Rachio does support these flow meters. Let me see what I could do with GSheets, but keep in mind this would still be using Rachio estimates based on your zone settings.

Thanks. I’m wondering, if I use a flow meter to track actual usage, can I trigger an event at the end of each cycle via IFTTT to log actual usage at the end of each cycle. From there then I can determine water usage per zone. is that possible?

Hey @lokuly-

This would actually not be possible with our current software. We do not have the capability to pull usage after a cycle. However, with the estimates, I could plug our estimates into a sheet equation using the time difference and your zone settings to get estimates per zone.

McKynzee :rachio: