All toilets and most showerheads today meet the federal water-efficiency standards, but not all of these products perform satisfactorily. With toilets and showerheads, we include products that meet or exceed WaterSense standards, which includes performance requirements—although we go beyond WaterSense where there are issues not adequately addressed by the program. We also look for other products that conserve potable water, such as rainwater catchment and graywater recovery and reuse systems.
Rain Bird Irrigation Controllers
Rain Bird WaterSense-labeled ESP-SMT Smart Control System determines the appropriate water required for irrigation based on a variety of data and inputs, including eight years of historical weather data, site-collected rainfall information, soil type, landscape slope, sun exposure, plant types and root depths, and sprinklers. The system can control irrigation for up to 13 different zones, varying the amount of water accordingly. The company also offers drip irrigation, valves, and other irrigation components.
Over half of the urban water used in the U.S. is for landscape irrigation, with much of that water lost to evaporation. It's best to use native landscaping or xeriscaping that is drought-resistant, and reduces or eliminates water, energy, and chemical use—but if irrigation is needed, use permanent “smart” irrigation controllers.
Smart controllers use evapotranspiration (ET) data based on local temperature, humidity, sunshine, wind, and other factors, along with information on soil, plant type, irrigation type, and slope to calculate the amount of water transpired by vegetation and evaporated from the soil. The controllers then provide the amount necessary to maintain the health of the plants.
Drip irrigation systems that release measured quantities of water directly to the soil surrounding the intended plants instead of spraying an entire area also use water more efficiently and reduce evaporative losses.
GreenSpec lists smart irrigation controllers that use ET data, weather information, and other sensors to help minimize water losses, with preference given to WaterSense-labeled controllers. Also look in our Graywater Systems section for integrated systems that reuse water that would otherwise be sent down the drain. GreenSpec also lists products here that detect or prevent leaks in irrigation systems.
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