The more I look into our water situation (specifically in California, but I’m sure everywhere else, as well), I discover that it is inextricably linked to energy. It takes a huge amount of energy to move water. And in the case of the 50 million gallon/day desalination plant near me in Carlsbad, Ca soon, to extract it from the ocean. Water has an important “energy density” factor – the watt-hrs of energy per gallon. (When I start using desalinated water, it will have an energy density of about 13 watt-hr per gallon… One charge on an iPad stores the electrical equivalent of 3 gallons of water.
When we add flow metering to Open Sprinkler, we will be measuring volume in gallons or liters. But not all gallons are the same. From a cost perspective, I can pay different rates depending on the volume of water I’ve used so far this month. Depending on the energy density of the water as delivered by my water district, it can represent different kilowatt-hours. And depending on where it goes, it can have different effects on carbon sinking or sourcing.
This also provides a way of interfacing my electrical usage to my water usage. I’m moving to solar panels to cover my home electricity and automobile energy needs. I would also like to move to solar power to offset my water usage. So, there is a connection between “net metering” and irrigation.
I just thought I’d ramble about some of the ways I hope to use flow metering in OS 🙂