Tagged: water restrictions
December 13, 2016 at 12:23 pm #44999
I didn’t want to revive an old thread (California watering restrictions), but did want to touch on the same topic that was previously discussed.
In last year’s thread, it was stated that California had set statewide restrictions on watering within 2 days after rain. I had done a bit of research on this, and it seems that the ban has been lifted. (Personally, I think the ban should be permanent, but that’s just me!)
Anyway, I was unable to find a definitive answer for this. But I did find that our local water supplier (Eastern Municipal Water District) has a webpage Water Shortage Contingency Plan that provides the current conservation stage and a description of those stages.
I have not yet contacted the water company to ask, but does anyone know if any water providers have an API for accessing this type of information? Aside from “remembering” to go and look at the page every now-and-again (I am not a good rememberer), it would be convenient to ultimately have this data and the related actions managed solely by machines in some way. And included with that, of course, would be integration into an irrigation system.
But realistically, after looking at these different stages, stage 4 (in our area) has a mandatory reduction for watering a maximum of one day per week from September through May, and a maximum of two days per week for the rest of the year — as well as a 10-100% decrease in outdoor use water budgets. We’re currently in stage 3a, which isn’t exactly a legitimate issue, but same as we have water level percent, it could be cool to have some sort of daily reduction option as well. I wouldn’t exactly want to go in and re-program all of my programs to decrease the number of watering days, only to go and fix them all later on when the restrictions are lifted. Something similar to the water level % would be excellent.
Real life example: We get a notice in the mail about water conservation efforts and tighter restrictions on outdoor watering. I log into OpenSprinkler, enable “Conservation Mode”, set the maximum allowable values for days and/or watering percentages, and then let OS deal with it as it should. Then, when the restrictions are lifted, I go in and unset “Conservation Mode”, and call it a day.
Perfect world example: OpenSprinkler checks the local water district’s API for the current conservation stage once a day — where applicable and when the feature is enabled within OS. With the data it receives (remember, perfect world here), it gets the explicit outdoor watering restrictions in JSON format, and adjusts the watering schedules to comply with the local watering requirements.
This is all a bit of a pipe dream, since I’m pretty sure none of our water providers do have an API-based access to this type of information. But if anyone has seen this with their local water provider, I’d really like to check it out.
Ultimately, I’d love to provide my landscape with exactly the water it needs to thrive, and completely eliminate the greatest possible amount of excess watering. But for now, I’m just bragging to my neighbors about what my OpenSprinkler can already do 😉 …
~LazDecember 23, 2016 at 11:48 pm #45056
That’s a good questions. I don’t know if any website provides this type of information for automated sprinkler systems to access. In fact, I recently wrote a research grant that proposes to integrate OpenSprinkler with government policies allowing it to be auto-compliant with the local watering policies. This would require a website like you descried that provides an API for easy checking of policy updates. But I have no idea if this type of service already exists or not.December 27, 2016 at 9:30 am #45074
That would be awesome to see OS provide that type of compliance automatically. I think it is such a shame how we waste water simply because we (and I speak generally here ha ha) do not understand the environmental/physical nature of water in our yards.
The company I work for is trying to get into some state-level compliance projects, through our cloud services and government APIs. We will hopefully provide data to allow businesses easier methods to keep compliant. I’m just one of the tech guys involved, but hey – if anything like what you are saying gets a pair of legs, and there is something that I can do to help, I would love to donate network resources or my time for something like this. (I may have said it before, but my programming skills are probably a 1/10 compared to yours, but it would be my pleasure to give back as I can.)
Now, the amount of water used to make beef (we like to watch a lot of documentaries) … not sure what can be done about that one, except for eating less burgers!
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