The goal of this study is stated as such.
The term smart irrigation controller is commonly used to refer to various types of controllers that
have the capability to calculate and implement irrigation schedules automatically and without
human intervention. Ideally, smart controllers are designed to use site specific information to
produce irrigation schedules that closely match the day-to-day water use of plants and landscapes.
In recent years, manufacturers have introduced a new generation of smart controllers which are
being promoted for use in both residential and commercial landscape applications.
However, many questions exist about the performance, dependability and water savings benefits
of smart controllers. Of particular concern in Texas is the complication imposed by rainfall.
Average rainfall in the State varies from 56 inches in the southeast to less than eight inches in the
western desert. In much of the State, significant rainfall commonly occurs during the primary
landscape irrigation seasons. Some Texas cities and water purveyors are now mandating smart
controllers. If these controllers are to become requirements across the state, then it is important
that they be evaluated formally under Texas conditions.
It had no intention of trying to explain how to manage a smart controller. It took a virtual landscape and exposed the sensors to the elements or used the ET data provided by the manufacturers. Even if we are all aware that tweaking is needed the controllers still need to perform to a certain level in the absence of adjustments to be considered a tool for conserving Texas water. If they or certain brands compound the problem then cities need to be made aware of that.