California Company Develops Affordable Tool to Reduce Outdoor Water Waste
The WaterDex has an easy-to-use dial that can be set on a daily, weekly or monthly basis to zip code specific watering indexes
Landscaping is a big drain on water resources across the country, typically accounting for 60% to 70% of residential water consumption.
To make matters worse, homeowners typically over water their lawns by 20% to 50%.
But a California company has developed an innovative solution to the problem: a simple, low-cost irrigation controller that helps eliminate outdoor water waste.
The device, called WaterDex, overrides existing residential irrigation controllers and provides consumers with an easy-to-use dial that can be set on a daily, weekly or monthly basis to zip code specific watering indexes, which are compiled using historic and real-time evapotranspiration data.
Developed by Irvine-based Rockrose Technology LLC, WaterDex has gotten the attention of the organizers of the WaterSmart Innovations Conference and Exposition, who have invited Rockrose co-founder Matt Davenport to give a formal presentation on the WaterDex product during the Oct. 3 to 5 conference in Las Vegas.
The conference is organized by the Southern Nevada Water Authority in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense Program and other public and private partnerships.
More than 1,000 water agency professionals from across the country are expected to attend the conference, which is the largest conference of its kind focusing on water efficient technologies.
Davenport said WaterDex is a powerful tool that could help water agencies across the country as they look for ways to reduce residential water waste.
“WaterDex not only has the ability to help consumers reduce their water bills, but if enough people use the product it could significantly reduce water waste at a time when water agencies across the country are facing increasing shortages,” Davenport said.
Water agencies in California and across the U.S. have been encouraging consumers to purchase weather sensitive irrigation controllers because over-watered lawns are the single biggest source or residential water waste.
But smart controllers have not been widely used by consumers because they are too expensive and too complicated to use. The typical smart controller costs $200 or more, while WaterDex retails for less than half that amount.
WaterDex is easier to use than either standard or smart irrigation controllers because it overrides both kinds of devices with a simple and ease to use dial. Consumers simply visit WaterDex.com and enter their zip code to find the appropriate watering index setting for their WaterDex dial. WaterDex then turns the sprinklers on and off on its own, based on the selected watering index setting.
Consumers can sign up to receive automatic emails that notify them of the latest recommended watering index settings for their zip code. WaterDex also comes with a wireless remote control that can be used to control the device from virtually anywhere in the home.
Davenport said WaterDex has been used by hundreds of Southern California homeowners during the past two years. The product has also been independently evaluated by Brown and Caldwell, a Lakewood, Colo.-based engineering and consulting firm that evaluated the product’s performance on behalf of Irvine Ranch Water District.
“Overall,” Brown and Caldwell stated in their report, “the customer feedback indicated that that majority of study respondents were satisfied and that they regularly used the WaterDex device to adjust their irrigation schedules.”
The study also found that “WaterDex customers showed a greater reduction in water usage when compared with non-WaterDex customers over the same time period.