During our recent Smart Irrigation Month contest we asked our blog, Facebook and Twitter followers to share their opinions–from their favorite smart irrigation product, to why it can be a challenge to get people intersted in smart irrigation–for a chance to win an Irri-Tool, an 11-in-1 tool for irrigation pros. Check out our winners and some more of the excellent responses we received below, and add your own thoughts in the comments!
Q1: What’s your favorite smart irrigation/water-efficient product and why?
Winning Answer: Moisture sensors! They sense moisture levels in the soil and based on that data, dictates whether an irrigation system needs to be turned on or not! Don’t you hate when it’s raining and you see your neighbors sprinklers go off! –Judith Mercado
Retrofitting with MP Rotator nozzles because it’s an economical way to introduce clients to being efficient without the more expensive items. They are usually impressed and would like to continue with other efficiency products. I like the Solar Sync too, because it’s an easy way to upgrade an existing Hunter controller. –Leslie Wilson Corsbie
Hunter Solar-Sync: The most user-friendly way to save water without additional fees or too many bells and whistles. –Michael S. Hertzer
Pressure compensating emitters because they are an easy fix that can help your system become more efficient. –Smartscape program, University of Arizona Cooperative Extension
I think smart controllers are a great way to go for both residential and commercial; however, I think we’re going to see a big push in rainwater harvesting in years to come. –James Fischer, Ewing Irrigation
Q2: How do you promote smart irrigation with your clients and others?
As a CLCA Certified Water Manger, I can prove the savings of real dollars with a simple audit and their average monthly water bill. A few tips on proper design to retain water as well. –Michael S. Hertzer
I employ the concept of (rainwater) harvesting, either above or below ground, with a drip irrigation component in the shrub beds and/or hanging sequence in potted hangers or pots on deck. If the system Is large enough, make sure the aeration pump controls are large enough to keep out the algae growth. –Rebecca Trammell
Not all clients are interested in conservation, but most people want to save money on their utility bills. I generally show clients how much money they can save by using irrigation in addition to changing some or all of their landscape palette to lower-water plants. –Jennifer Smietana
Q3: What’s the greatest challenge in getting more people interested in smart irrigation?
Winning Answer: The artificially-low cost of water mixed with apathy. –Eric Mytko
The biggest hurdle is cost, but if they are already experiencing problems with their current system, it makes it easier to sell an efficiency upgrade. –Gregg Cantanese
I think it’s the “old school” thinking, especially here in Washington St. where there’s “plenty of water.”… The thought of saving water, or limiting use, doesn’t cross most minds until the water bill is opened.” –Clifford Miller
Q4: What do you plan to do next year for Smart Irrigation Month?
Winning Answer: I’ll try to get on it earlier and send out an email or newsletter to past customers to tell them what I can do for them to help conserve water and what rebates might be available to soften the blow. –Gregg Cantanese
I understand the need for Smart Irrigation Month, but only one month? It should be the Smart Irrigation Era! Promote smart irrigation and change the way people think about water conservation for the better, all year round! But to answer the question literally, I look forward to entering another (Facebook) contest through Ewing this time next year. –Michael S. Hertzer