Americans are guilty of wasting water; that’s not news. But did you know that businesses and homeowners overwater grass and plants by up to 300%, wasting 225 billion gallons of water each year? According to water management company Hydropoint, it’s all because of dumb irrigation systems that are guilty of saturating water-starved flora with too much of a good thing. Instead, Hydropoint suggests installing smart irrigation systems that dispense water based on amount of sunlight available, plant and soil types, and soil moisture readings.
These systems don’t just conserve water; they also save energy and cash. 12% of all U.S. electricity consumption in spent on watering. And in 2005, damages to buildings in California from over-watering led to $375 million in insurance claims. That’s somewhat shameful considering the state also suffers from droughts on a semi-regular basis. The government knows it too, which is why smart irrigation systems will be mandatory on new properties beginning in 2012.
Interested in buying a smart irrigation system for your home? The Irrigation Association maintains a list of climate and sensor-based products that qualify as smart controllers.