Water audits are very helpful to calculate the uniformity and distribution of an existing irrigation system. Audits will show the maintenance staff how to use existing irrigation equipment more efficiently and how to save water and money by properly operating the system and upgrading the sprinkler equipment as needed. A System Analysis and Long Range Plan may also be performed in conjunction with a water audit to evaluate how the existing irrigation system can be improved to save water.
The irrigation water audit includes:
- Sprinklers uniformity tests.
- Evaluation of current and past water use.
- Determine irrigation scheduling. When? How Long? How Much? How Often?
- Basic evaluation of existing system with recommendations for lowering water consumption.
- Training in the principles of efficient irrigation: precipitation rates; evapotranspiration (ET), infiltration rates, root zone depth, and crop coefficients.
- Assistance in developing an irrigation schedule based on ET rates.
- Schedule annual reviews to ensure irrigation efficiency over time.
- Sprinkler uniformity testing reveals how evenly water is applied.
Irrigation practices to help conserve water include:
- Individual sprinkler control
- Weather station to track water requirements coupled with a properly programmed system
- Improved sprinkler spacing with low scheduling coefficients
- Utilize moisture sensors to assist in scheduling
- Install and ensure rain shut-off devices are operational to prevent irrigation during rainfall.