It’s hard to believe, but we’ll soon be heading into July, and you know what that means…Smart Irrigation Month!
Sponsored by the Irrigation Association, this annual initiative is designed to promote the social, economic and environmental benefits of efficient irrigation. This year’s theme is “Proud of our past. Focused on the future.”
First launched in 2005, Smart Irrigation Month has gained traction each year, as various stakeholders recognize the potential impact of efficient irrigation during the hottest summer months and year-round.
Help Ohio Declare
Smart Irrigation Month
Over the past 17 years, many states have declared the month of July to be Smart Irrigation Month, including our neighbors, Indiana and Michigan. Unfortunately, Ohio has yet to join them. You can help change that!
In past years, numerous states and municipalities have jumped on the bandwagon to officially declare July as Smart Irrigation Month. (See sidebar.)
Landscape irrigation contractors have taken advantage of this opportunity to differentiate themselves and add value for their customers by promoting water-saving products, practices and services. These businesses report that participating in Smart Irrigation Month campaigns has resulted in new customers and increased sales.
This year’s Smart Irrigation Month is also about focusing on the industry’s future and the many ways efficient irrigation will continue to benefit society through more sustainable landscapes. Here are just a few of the innovations that irrigation professionals can anticipate down the road:
No More Wires
Wireless valves will likely become the norm, particularly for larger installations. Wireless technology will use long-range, low-power, wide area networks. Instead of batteries, inline, turbine-based generators will provide power to supercapacitors.
These wireless valves are expected to include ultrasonic flow sensors that use sound waves to determine the flow velocity within a pipe. This technology can provide very detailed alerts to help technicians and homeowners improve system efficiency.
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Some of today’s ongoing labor shortage may be alleviated through drone-based irrigation inspections. These drones can be equipped with a bevy of detectors to replicate – and exceed — human sensory capabilities.
Armed with infrared, thermal and acoustical sensors, irrigation drones will fly to each station and locate problems, which will then be pinpointed on a geographic information system (GIS) map. The data will be collected and used to automatically provide suggestions, such as upgrades to components that fail most frequently. This information would then interface with software that can instantly create work orders, pending human review and approval.
Alternate Water Sources
Alternative sources of water for irrigation will likely become increasingly important in the future, especially in areas of water scarcity. These alternate sources could include greywater, rainwater, and even condensate from air conditioning. Onsite tanks can be used to collect, store and filter the water, which is then delivered to highly efficient subsurface drip irrigation piping.
Using A/C condensation will be particularly helpful for the hottest areas and during the hottest months, when condensate quantities are greatest and evapotranspiration is highest.
Plan Ahead to Promote Your Business During the Industry’s Showcase Month
July is Smart Irrigation Month — the irrigation industry’s showcase month.
So now’s the time to position your business as a leader in water-saving practices by promoting smart and efficient irrigation.
The Irrigation Association offers a plethora of resources to promote your business during Smart Irrigation Month. If you’ve never taken advantage of these marketing tools, you’re missing out on effective ways to enhance your brand.
Social Media Tools
The IA has created several customizable social media tools to help you promote smart irrigation throughout the month of July. Such as:
Social media cover photos for your company’s profile page on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.
Landscape irrigation infographics and snippets for Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
Articles on irrigation best practices to include in your company’s monthly blog or newsletter.
Market Your Business as a Leader During Smart Irrigation Month
July is Smart Irrigation Month. Are you geared up to market your company as a leader in water-saving practices?
It was 16 years ago that the national Irrigation Association (IA) first utilized the month of July to promote the social, economic and environmental benefits of efficient landscape irrigation. And every year, Smart Irrigation Month has gotten bigger and better.
Again this year, the IA has added some new tools to help irrigation contractors market smart irrigation throughout the month of July. Such as:
Are your customers aware that efficient irrigation can save them water and money?
July is Smart Irrigation Month. What better time to position your company as a leader in water-saving practices with customers, business partners and peers?
For the past 15 years, the national Irrigation Association (IA) has used the month of July to showcase the social, economic and environmental benefits of efficient irrigation technologies, products and services in landscape and turf irrigation.
New Smart Irrigation Month Tools
This year, the IA has created a host of new tools to help you promote smart irrigation throughout the month. Such as:
First launched in 2005, this national campaign continues to gain traction each year as consumers and irrigation specialists alike recognize the positive impact efficient irrigation and water use provides to all of us.
Among the strategies being presented to consumers, first and foremost is proper programming of automatic watering or sprinkler systems to deliver just the right amount of water at the right time.
Additional strategies include:
Proper landscaping, keeping soil healthy, mulching and routine landscape maintenance
Watering during the evening and early morning to prevent evaporation, taking soil type and sprinkler placement into consideration
Maintaining the sprinkler system regularly by adjusting sprinkler heads, repairing leaks and monitoring pressure
According to the EPA’s WaterSensewebsite, adopting water-savvy habits also is essential to maintaining and extending our communities’ water supplies, especially during peak use. WaterSense partners with manufacturers, retailers/distributors, and utilities to bring high-performing, water-efficient products to the marketplace.
WaterSense also partners with professional certifying organizations to promote water–efficient landscape irrigation practices. Since the program began in 2006, WaterSense has helped consumers save a total of 1.5 trillion gallons of water, resulting inmore than $32.6 billion in water and energy bill savings.
Take the Tuna Can Test!
Place a few empty tuna cans randomly around your lawn, with some cans close to the sprinkler head and others several feet away. Turn on your system and measure how much time it takes your sprinkler to fill the cans with a half inch of water. Then, try watering for that amount of time twice a week. Gauge how your landscape responds, and adjust based on weather conditions.
Alternatively, you can simplify this system by replacing your standard clock timer controller with a WaterSense-labeled irrigation controller.
Get On Board
Here are just a few of the many “Smart Ideas” irrigation professional can use to promote SmartIrrigationMonth:
Add the SmartIrrigationMonthlogo to your website, ads, customer presentations, field signs, invoices and more.
Submit a press release or letter to the editor of your local newspaper.
Ask employees to add the SmartIrrigationMonth logo to their e-mail signature block.
Host a live demonstration of water-saving irrigation technologies, in the field or at your location.
Feature water-efficient products and services in displays, ads, promotions and product demos with the SmartIrrigationMonth logo.
Use a banner, outside signage or counter sign to encourage customers to ask about smartirrigation.
Make smartirrigation the theme of sales calls.
Give awards to customers and/or business partners who promote water-efficient practices.
Volunteer to speak to a local homeowner association, garden club or civic group.