Designed to address drought conditions prevalent in over one third of the US, the Community Conservation Initiative will launch on February 10th, 2014 providing utilities and their customers with tools for reducing outdoor water waste.
IRVINE, Calif., February 3rd, 2014 – It’s no secret that over half of the US is experiencing abnormally dry conditions, with more than one third of the country in the throes of moderate to extreme drought. In response, Irvine-based Rockrose Technology has announced a community-based program that can help utilities and their customers to very simply control and reduce outdoor water consumption by as much as 35%.
The Community Conservation Initiative is comprised of two different components. Component One provides weekly e-mail delivery of the local, zip code specific and weather-based Watering Index to any number of utility service area customers. Utilities participating in the Initiative are provided with an e-mail template which includes the utility’s logo, the zip code specific Watering Index, and two customizable text fields which can be used by the utility for their important information and message content. The e-mail delivery service is available for any zip code within the US and is provided and managed by Rockrose Technology. Component Two provides WaterDex remote control units which are used by homeowners to simplify irrigation controller adjustment so that adjustments may be made more frequently (i.e. weekly), and based on local weather conditions as they change throughout the year.
The effectiveness of both components of the Community Conservation Initiative used in conjunction was independently evaluated by Brown and Caldwell, a Lakewood, Colo.- based engineering and consulting firm acting on behalf of the Irvine Ranch Water District (IRWD) who implemented and studied the Conservation Initiative over a 15 month period. The report, which is available on IRWD’s website at: http://www.irwd.com/save-water-money/irwd-research-studies states that 17% – 23% of overall water consumption (approx. 35% of outdoor water consumption) was saved by the 95 study participants. The report also concluded that two thirds of participants surveyed relied on the tools provided by the Conservation Initiative to adjust their outdoor irrigation systems at least once per month, while 47% made irrigation system adjustments weekly.
According to Matt Davenport, a Rockrose Technology co-founder. “The universally applicable Watering Index principle was developed by the State of California
Department of Water Resources and is based on ET (evapotranspiration), which accounts for water loss due to weather, landscape evaporation and plant transpiration. A Watering Index is between 0% and 100%, and is the ratio of the current, local ET as compared to the average local high ET over the previous 10 years. The high typically occurs in mid-summer and is equivalent to a Watering Index of 100%. During all other times of the year, the Watering Index is typically less than 100%. By receiving the weekly e-reminders provided through Component One of our Conservation Initiative, a utility’s service area customers learn to rely on their zip code specific Watering Index as a guide to simply and conveniently adjust their irrigation controllers frequently and according to their local weather conditions.”
Davenport added, “We believe that the WaterDex remote control”, Component Two of the Conservation Initiative and developed by Rockrose Technology, “has been embraced by homeowners across the country for three reasons: Simplicity. The WaterDex receiver retro-fits to any existing irrigation controller with just four wires. Then, with the simple turn of a dial, the WaterDex wireless remote adjusts the entire irrigation schedule without ever having to visit, touch or re-program the controller. Convenience. The WaterDex wireless remote may be placed on a kitchen counter-top, stuck to your refrigerator, or mounted next to the garage door opener. Because WaterDex is never out of sight, outdoor irrigation is never out of mind. By simply adjusting the remote dial, the entire irrigation system is easily controlled to match local weather. And importantly, because It Saves, both water and money.”
“We call our Initiative the Community Conservation Initiative because it not only has the ability to help households reduce their water bills, but when implemented by an entire community, the aggregate water savings potential for water purveyors is remarkable. There is power in numbers, and broad-based community action is the only palatable long term solution to water conservation. Component One of the Initiative guides homeowners in how their irrigation systems should be adjusted, and Component Two makes adjustment simple.” Davenport said.
Landscape irrigation is a big drain on water supply, typically accounting for 50 to 70 percent of residential water consumption. The US EPA estimates that as much as 50 percent of water used outdoors is wasted. Across the country and to mitigate increasingly dour drought conditions, water utilities are encouraging homeowners to reduce outdoor water use, and in many cases have even imposed mandatory watering restrictions. The Community Conservation Initiative aims to provide a simple, alternative solution to reduce outdoor water waste through weather-based control made simple so that more drastic measures are not required.
Matt Davenport firstname.lastname@example.org
+1 949 540 0645