Tags: smart | water | sprinklers | California

Smart Water Sprinklers Seek to Cut Use by 50 Percent

By    |   Saturday, 04 Apr 2015 05:58 PM

New smart sprinkler control systems are being marketed to help California and other drought-stricken states.

The systems use Wi-Fi and sensors to cut back water usage on lawns by 30 to 50 percent, NBC News reports.

"It's a proven technology," David Sedlak, co-director of the Berkeley Water Center, told NBC. He is the author of "Water 4.0: The Past, Present, and Future of the World's Most Vital Resource."

These devices work similar to Nest, the smart thermostat, only they regulate water use instead of the temperature.

In the Golden State, lots of water is used in residential areas, though 80 percent goes to agriculture, NBC reports. Gov. Jerry Brown issued an executive order to save water because of the continued drought.

The EPA says that 50 percent of the water used on lawns nationally disappears because of the wind, evaporation and runoff, according to NBC.

The smart devices include Rachio, now available at Home Depot and debuting at Best Buy next month. Another system, Skydrop, will be sold at Lowe's starting May 1.

Using a Wi-Fi connection, these devices constantly monitor local weather conditions, NBC reports, and with other data about the lawn, they automatically indicate how much water should be released.

"Normal sprinkler controllers are almost like egg timers, and they control a very valuable resource," Chris Klein, Rachio's co-founder, told NBC.

"They have no concept of the environment around them — they don't know what season it is, they don't know what the weather is like. With the technology that we have today, there is no reason to have these kinds of controllers anymore."

Rachio's price starts at $249, while Skydrop costs $299. A San Francisco-based company, Edyn, is taking orders for smart water valves ($59.99) that adjust sprinkler systems based on data gathered by a smart sensor ($99.99) that measures soil moisture, NBC reports.

The EPA has given its WaterSense certification to both Rachio and Skydrop, while Edyn is currently pursuing the certification. The designation could bring rebates of up to 50 percent to residents in certain California counties, NBC reports.

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New smart sprinkler control systems are being marketed to help California and other drought-stricken states. The systems use Wi-Fi and sensors to cut back water usage on lawns by 30 to 50 percent, NBC News reports. It's a proven technology, David Sedlak, co-director of...
smart, water, sprinklers, California
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2015-58-04
Saturday, 04 Apr 2015 05:58 PM
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