Seasonal Irrigation Mandated by Las Vegas Water District

I live in Las Vegas where water is sacred and irrigation is monitored. We have three watering schedules (programs):

Program Months Days

1 May, Jun, Jul, Aug Mon-Sat
2 Mar, Apr, Oct, Nov Mon, Wed, Fri
3 Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar Fri

Can anyone tell me if the Rachio controller can be programmed to irrigate based on the schedule above and allow each zone to be programmed to irrigate for 5 min, 3x per day? My old Weathermatic SL1600 can do this and I would like my Rachio controller to achieve this to avoid being fined.
Thanks in advance!

Yes you can. You can setup as many schedules you want and each one can be programmed for a specific day and time.

And you can label them however you want as well which means you could label them as winter 1 winter 2. Or winter morning winter afternoon and winter evening…… and also Spring fall 1 spring fall 2 and summer 1 summer 2 summer 3 summer 4 etc. whatever you want

You can only set one watering time per schedule but you can have the same zones in as many schedules as you want.

Then just enable or disable that schedule for whatever time of year it is.

Thanks! When I attempt to program the schedules, it appears I have to pick a date range as opposed to a month. For example, Mar 1-31, 2023 as opposed to selecting just Mar. Selection by date range works, but it seems that’s only good for this year and I have to program it again for the following year (2024).

I’m trying to achieve a set it and forget it schedule. On the Weathermatic units, you are able to set schedules by month (w/o specifying a year). So the schedule repeats itself automatically annually w/o the need to adjust the schedule.

Maybe I’m missing something, but I’m not seeing how to create a monthly set it and forget schedule, regardless of year. Let me know if I’m missing a concept. Thanks again for your help!!

I’m here too.

Correct, there’s no repeat or continuous setting for a manual schedule. I’d like that feature as well.
Ex.: I set the Winter (Nov-Feb), and Summer: (May-August) schedules manually and have to reset them every year. I create and name a “Spring/Fall (March-April/September-October)” schedule since for me the watering needs are essentially the same for both seasons as far as I’ve calculated, and I reset the dates each season.

It sounds like you’re watering a lawn?
SNWA/LVVWD recommend (3) 4min. cycles per day, with a 1 hour soak, (3) days/wk for grass. i.e. 12min total watering time.

To set limited watering intervals, you can set “manual cycle and soak" in the fixed schedule.
Go to Irrigation/Schedules/Create Schedule. Choose Fixed. Pick zone/s. Choose “specific days.” When you get to “add Smart Cycle,” choose “Manual cycle and soak.” There you set the watering interval (ex.: 4min.) and soak time (ex.: 1 hour). If the watering duration recommended by Rachio is different than your total watering time (meaning the cycles added together), adjust it to your desired watering time (ex.: 12min).

You can use SNWA/LVVWD recommendations for drip irrigation to get the bare minimum, but Drip Irrigation For the Mojave Desert is likely a more accurate way to calculate your watering needs. It’s a deep dive though, so probably more efficient to use SNWA/LVVWD recommendations until you notice trees/shrubs suffering.

However, if setting a Fixed schedule for drip irrigation, know that Rachio doesn’t include soak and cycle in the schedule settings if you set your zone “spray head” type, in your zone settings, as a drip type. (ex.: drip line, emitter, etc.). This is a known issue with the controller OS, and Rachio will simply advise you to choose a “turf” type emitter instead, ex.: rotary nozzle. That won’t cause a problem since you’re manually setting the water to run for the time you want, and it doesn’t actually matter what the controller “thinks” your emitters are… at least in this case. (It does matter if you’re setting an automatic schedule (“Flex”) because the controller will factor the emitter type when calculating when and how much to water…). Then, the cycle and soak options will be available in the schedule settings for those zones.

Thanks for the validation OMR. Yes, the MONTHLY repeat setting for a manual schedule is significant feature that is missing in the Rachio OS. I’m sure Rachio is focused on saving water. We as customers are focused on saving money. And unfortunately, fines for watering on non-allowed days are real in Las Vegas and many other parts of the Southwest.

So Rachio, if you are listening: PLEASE CONSIDER a manual scheduling feature that can be set by MONTH. This would allow some of us to create a set-it-and-forget-it schedule, without the need to reset the schedule annually as is required now because a Date Range is required (instead of just selecting a Month).

For now, I have A/B switched the Rachio and Weathermatic SL1600 controllers where the Weathermatic is once again in charge of the daily irrigation since its scheduling feature is far superior. And the Rachio has been relegated to troubleshooting emitters only given its WiFi capability.

I hope Rachio can come through with adding the manual scheduling feature described above because it’s simple and will open up a new market for those of us who are required by our local governments to water based on a repeating monthly schedule. Until then, I cannot recommend the Rachio units to anyone that is mandated to water based on a repeating monthly schedule.

Interesting. As an aside I live in the Los Angeles area and watering here is only allowed once per week even in the summer. I’m shocked you can water six days a week in Vegas.

Remember, we’re in a desert and we’re talking about drip emitters from 3-7 min on desert plants. New grass is outlawed here and most old grass has been removed through incentives and cost of watering.

I’d like to revive this topic with the hope that Rachio considers adding a Fixed MONTHLY (or seasonal) Schedule. Having a schedule that can be set on a MONTHLY basis that repeats the schedule on that MONTH annually allows us to set & forget a schedule. This works well in the desert where there is no predicted rain and we are mandated to water on certain days based on the MONTH of the year.