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WEATHER-BASED IRRIGATION

The Key to Sustainability

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The Key to Sustainability

Sustainable vs. Unsustainable Irrigation Practices

Irrigation makes it possible to keep trees and plants healthy, even in extreme drought conditions. Unsustainable irrigation practices, however, can cause erosion and pollute or deplete natural water sources. The key to minimizing problems and achieving maximum sustainability lies in the use of “weather-based irrigation systems.”

Evapotranspiration:

Changing weather conditions dictate how quickly or slowly water leaves the plant and soil through a process called evaporation and transpiration—or, as the industry calls it—"evapotranspiration."

evapotransipration

What is Weather-Based Irrigation?

Weather-based irrigation harnesses the power of intelligent controllers, sensors, and internet-connected devices to monitor the weather conditions which directly affect daily evapotranspiration rates. This ensures that watering only happens if and when the plant and soil actually need it. Adjusting irrigation runtimes daily, based on real-time water requirements, is the most effective way to irrigate for optimal plant health and water savings.

Key Weather Components

Weather-based irrigation monitors 5 major components to calculate daily evapotranspiration rate and adjust schedules to only replenish water that was lost since the last irrigation event.

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SEASONAL WATERING NEEDS

Seasonal watering needs chart

Self-Adjusting Technology Reduces Water Usage Up to 30%

Automatically skip or adjust daily watering duration based on:

  • Historical weather averages
  • Yesterday’s known weather
  • Tomorrow’s weather forecast

Once Automatic Seasonal Adjust is turned on, a daily seasonal adjust value is sent to the controller every night. This percentage will adjust your irrigation base runtime up or down according to the current day’s evapotranspiration.

 

This graph is a visual representation of how varied watering needs can be from month to month. During the hottest months, water needs go up. As winter approaches, the needs go down.

 

In traditional irrigation scheduling, the watering duration will remain consistent throughout the year, regardless of changing weather conditions. This method has the tendency to waste water during particularly wet times and not provide enough water during dry periods.

 

Instead, Automatic Seasonal Adjust accounts for weather changes on a monthly, and even daily basis to save water and improve plant health.

Rain Bird offers a number of intelligent controllers, sensors and internet-connected
devices that automatically adjust irrigation schedules according to local weather data.

 

Controllers

Weather-Capable | Reliable | User-Friendly Design

Now, more than ever, it’s critical to minimize the environmental impacts associated with water waste and plant-loss. In addition to selecting the right plants for your region, selecting the right irrigation controller will go a long way to ensuring the health of your landscape and maximizing sustainability.
 

Rain Bird offers a full line of weather-capable, residential, light commercial and commercial controllers. Internet-connected weather data comes standard or can easily be added on.

Residential/Lt. Commercial Weather-Capable Controllers

Commercial Weather-Capable Controllers

Controllers

Tip:

Use this EPA-certified list of controllers to verify WaterSense approved smart controllers:
https://lookforwatersense.epa.gov/products

Smart Controller Upgrades

smart-controller-upgrades

Rain Bird’s EPA-certified controllers use internet-connected weather data for ET-based programming. Some controllers are internet-ready from the factory. Others can easily be upgraded to a “smart controller” for remote access through Rain Bird Mobile App or IQ Central Control. With a smart controller, you can initiate weather-based irrigation for site-specific water conservation from any computer or smart mobile device.

IQ CENTRAL CONTROL

IQ CENTRAL CONTROL

Upgrade Your Commercial Controller with an Easy-to-Install IQ Cartridge

The IQ cartridge provides instant intelligence for weather-based remote access anywhere, anytime.
 

RAIN BIRD MOBILE APP

RAIN BIRD MOBILE APP

Become Smarter in Seconds with the LNK2 WiFi Module for Residential Controllers

Insert the LNK2 WiFi module into the accessory port of your controller and get ahead of any weather.

INSTALLED IQ CARTRIDGE

installed cartridge

LNK2 WIFI MODULE INSTALLATION

LNK2 installation

For more information about WaterSense labeled WBICs, visit
https://www.epa.gov/watersense/watersense-labeled-controllers


 

SENSORS

Localized Data | Pairs Well With Automatic Seasonal Adjust

While Automatic Seasonal Adjust will increase or decrease watering duration, it won’t turn off watering completely. It’s important to utilize a local rain/freeze or soil sensor as well. A properly connected sensor will trigger your Rain Bird controller to shut down watering in the event of enough local rain, low temperatures, or wet soil. This function will still work even if Automatic Seasonal Adjust is turned on. Sensors are a great way to account for microclimates and supercharge sustainability.

 

Rain Bird Sensors

Sensors

Tip:

  • Don’t let a disconnected sensor jeopardize your sustainability success. At the beginning of each season, check to make sure your sensors are working properly and have adequate battery power.