by Christina Mountanos, Water Conservation Specialist
One thing that's fascinating about the irrigation world is that there's so much innovative technology out there, and it's constantly evolving, too. New weather-based controllers, for example, don't just vary their schedules based on the weather. Many have even more advanced and useful features now, like remote access to your controller over Wi-Fi and alerts for high flow rates (i.e., breaks or leaks in your irrigation system).
Another effective technology is the use of high-efficiency, multi-stream nozzles. Putting water out at a much slower rate than traditional spray nozzles (in thick streams versus finer water droplets), multi-stream nozzles can be a great way to reduce run-off, lessen the amount of water lost to wind and evaporation, help irrigate more irregularly shaped areas, and also help correct pressure problems that can result in poor coverage.
So many products have been created to improve the efficiency of irrigation and to help people use less water. Even better news is that MMWD is currently offering an incentive to some of our commercial and multi-family customers to implement this new technology and make improvements to their current systems. Sites that have a dedicated landscape water service are eligible for the rebate, which is worth up to $1,500 per water meter. The rebate covers the cost of the above-mentioned equipment (smart controllers and high-efficiency nozzles), materials for converting spray areas to drip irrigation, hydrozoning, and the cost of other water-efficient appurtenances like check valves and flow sensors.
I'm happy to report that many of the sites my co-workers and I have visited over the past year have taken advantage of efficient technologies like these. Since the program launched back in late 2015, we've already funded more than $55,000 in improvements at commercial sites, schools and HOAs.
Making your irrigation more efficient doesn't have to be a huge undertaking. Smaller, simpler projects might include adding a rain sensor to your current controller (so it shuts off automatically in the rain without having to physically flip any switches), adding pressure-regulating equipment, or adding check valves to sprinkler heads in low places to stop water from seeping out after the system has finished running. We're here to help: As part of the rebate process, an MMWD Conservation Specialist will meet with you during a required "irrigation check-up" to determine your site's eligibility and work with you to best decide how to improve your current system.
Check out our website at marinwater.org/rebates/iir
for the full details on the program, qualifying materials and the rebate process.