UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Reducing water consumption for residential turfgrass with adaptive irrigation controllers Fazackerley, Scott Ronald


It has been estimated that 50-75% of residential water use is for irrigation. Current domestic systems are poor at adapting irrigation to meet demand, primarily due to incomplete information for system operators who rely either on visual inspection or periodic irrigation programs. This results in over-watering and fertilizer and soil leaching. This thesis describes a complete wireless sensor and irrigation control system that reduces water consumption for residential turfgrass irrigation. Presented is a proof-of-concept system that demonstrates potential benefits. The approach couples easy-to-deploy wireless soil moisture sensor nodes with an adaptive irrigation controller that waters to meet demand without user input. Watering events are dynamically scheduled in response to changes in soil water and adapt to unplanned additions and variable water flow. The adaptive irrigation controller was compared against a standard irrigation control program. Experimental results demonstrate significant water savings over using a preset watering program. Adaptive watering amounts are compared against actual crop water demand and found to meet the needs of the turfgrass without over-watering. The result is a system that requires less user intervention, lowers water consumption, and adapts to changing climatic conditions while maintaining a healthy turfgrass.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International