UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Improving Maintenance Efficiency in Kelowna Parks using a Mobile Application Trenholm, Robert Ryan


Water is our world's most valuable resource, and the sustainable management of that resource is increasingly important with human population growth increasing the demand for water and climate change affecting its availability. While research efforts for irrigation sustainability have been successful, they have traditionally focused on reducing water usage through automation and optimization, and have primarily targeted agricultural and residential water users. Limited research has been done for municipalities, which use large amounts of water to irrigate parks, sports fields, and other recreation areas. Irrigation sustainability for city parks requires more than just efficient water usage; it needs continual maintenance of equipment, consideration of soil, vegetation, landscape, and climate at the parks, and a commitment from the irrigation technicians who maintain the parks. Advances in mobile technology provide new opportunities to support irrigation technicians with the management and maintenance of city parks. This thesis describes a mobile-friendly web application, the irrigation management application, which was developed to provide irrigation technicians with information on the parks they maintain and aid with maintenance activities out in the parks. A case study was performed with the Kelowna Parks Services department to evaluate the effectiveness of the application using a hybrid approach of questionnaires and scenario-based testing of maintenance activities. The results showed that irrigation technicians unfamiliar with particular parks were able to complete maintenance activities faster when using the irrigation management application than those without; in addition, they performed on par with, and in many cases better than, technicians with years of familiarity of those parks. The irrigation management application allowed irrigation technicians to be more efficient with their time and resources at the parks, and simplified decisions regarding park irrigation and practices. The City of Kelowna Parks Services department was enthusiastic about using the irrigation management application in the future.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada