Irrigation, Water Use & Drought
Efficient Irrigation for the Home Landscape
Approximately two-thirds of drinking water in Utah is used to water lawns and landscapes. Much of this water is being applied inefficiently, either due to sprinkler system design flaws or because sprinklers are running too long. Find out how to irrigate your landscape efficiently with these tips and resources.
Water Check Program
The Water Check Program offers free sprinkler system evaluations and educational materials to Utah homeowners. The Water Check Program has had a measurable impact on water conservation in Utah since its inception in1999. Find out how to have your irrigation system checked or learn how to do it yourself with the DIY Water Check tool.
SLIDE Rules (Simplified Landscape Irrigation Demand Estimation)
Complexity in the landscape can be managed through assumptions that simplify irrigated urban landscape complexity to reasonable averages translated to prescriptive rules that are easy to use. These rules are modified and moderated by practitioner wisdom and experience using rules of thumb considerations.
Landscape Lysimeter Project
This on-going project looks at water use of three types of plants—woody, herbaceous perennial, turf—from three types of landscapes—Mesic, Mixed, Xeric. The purpose of this project is to understand how meaningful landscape water savings can be achieved by simply adjusting planting density.
Climate-Based Irrigation Controllers Project
Climate-based irrigation controllers, or “smart controllers”, have been developed by the irrigation industry to improve landscape irrigation efficiency. These controllers measure depletion of soil moisture available to plants in order to operate an irrigation system. This project evaluates “smart controllers” in a field setting to determine whether different climate-based irrigation control technologies achieve different levels of landscape water conservation without negatively impacting landscape quality.
Value Landscape Engineering
This spreadsheet allows residential and commercial landscapers, landscape architects, contractors, and property owners to model current and proposed landscapes and use results to identify a low-cost, low-input landscape that achieves their client's or their own goals and values.
Related Peer-Reviewed Publications
- Response of Stomatal Density and Bound Gas Exchange in Leaves of Maize to Soil Water Deficit, Wensai Zhao, Yonglin Sun, Roger Kjelgren, and Xiping Liu; Acta Physiologiae Plantarum
- Water User Dimensions of Meter Implementation on Secondary Pressurized Irrigation Systems, Joanna Endter-Wada, Diana Glenn, Clayton Lewis, Roger Kjelgren, and Christopher Neale; Research Report for Weber Basin Water Conservancy District and the US Bureau of Reclamation
- Priorities for turfgrass management and education to enhance urban sustainability worldwide, Paul G. Johnson; Journal of Developments in Sustainable Agriculture
- Sustainable turfgrass management in an increasingly urbanized world, Paul Johnson, Frank S. Rossi, and Brian P. Horgan; Turfgrass Biology, Use and Management
- Turfgrass water use and physiology, Kelly L. Kopp and Yiwei Jiang; Turfgrass: Biology, Use and Management
- Identifying high-risk areas of N leaching in the Salt Lake Valley, Hongyan Sun and Kelly L. Kopp;International Turfgrass Society Research Journal
- Water efficient urban landscapes - integrating different water use categorizations and plant types, Hongyan Sun, Kelly L. Kopp, and Roger Kjelgren; HortScience
- Tropical street trees and climate uncertainty in Southeast Asia, Roger Kjelgren, Yongyut Trisurat, Ladawan Puangchit, Nestor Baguinon, and Puay Tan Yok; HortScience
- Value Landscape Engineering: identifying costs, water use, labor, and impacts to support landscape choice., Kelly Kopp, Larry Rupp, Paul G. Johnson, Roger K. Kjelgren, David E. Rosenberg, and Heidi Kratsch; Journal of the American Water Resources Association
- Predicting urban forest growth and its impact on residential landscape water demand in a semiarid urban environment, John H. Lowry Jr., R. Douglas Ramsey, and Roger K. Kjelgren; Urban Forestry & Urban Greening
- Irrigation Frequency Differentially Alters Vegetative Growth and Seed Head Development of Poa annua L. Biotypes, Mark R. Slavens, Paul G. Johnson, and Bruce Bugbee; Crop Science
- Landscaping on the New Frontier: Waterwise Design for the Intermountain West, Susan E. Meyer, Roger K. Kjelgren, Darrel G. Morrison, and William A. Varga; All USU Press Publications
- Variation within Poa germplasm for salinity tolerance, Joseph G. Robins, B. Shaun Bushman, Blair L. Waldron, and Paul G. Johnson; HortScience
- Buffalograss tolerance to post-emergence herbicides in the Intermountain West, Adam Van Dyke and Paul G. Johnson; Applied Turfgrass Science
- Influence of humic acid on water retention and nutrient acquisition in simulated golf putting greens, Adam Van Dyke, Paul G. Johnson, and Paul R. Grossl; Soil Use and Management
- Situational waste in landscape watering: residential and business water use in an urban Utah community, Joanna Endter-Wada, Judith Kurtzman, Sean P. Keenan, Roger K. Kjelgren, and Christopher M.U. Neale;Journal of the American Water Resources Association
- Water use of four street tree species in Bangkok, Thailand, Roger Kjelgren, L Puangchit, C. Sriladda, and M. Someechai; ISHS Acta Horticulturae
- Effects of irrigation and mowing on species diversity of grass and wildflower mixtures for the Intermountain West, Daniel W. Dewwy, Paul G. Johnson, and Roger K. Kjelgren; Native Plants Journal
- Evaluating a line source irrigation system for determining water requirements of herbaceous perennials, Roger Kjelgren and Teresa Cerny-Koenig; Journal of Environmental Horticulture
- Use of thermal dissipation probes to estimate water loss of containerized landscape trees, Thayne Montague and Roger Kjelgren; Journal of Environmental Horticulture
- Growth and water relations of littleleaf linden trees established in irrigated buffalograss and Kentucky bluegrass, J. Ryan Stewart, Roger Kjelgren, and Paul G. Johnson; HortScience
- Relationships between water use efficiency, carbon isotope discrimination, and turf performance in genotypes of Kentucky bluegrass during drought, J. S. Ebdon and Kelly L. Kopp; Crop Science
- Water loss estimates for five recently transplanted landscape tree species in a semi-arid climate, Thayne Montague, Roger Kjelgren, Rick Allen, and David Wester; Journal of Environmental Horticulture
- Water loss estimates for five recently transplanted landscape tree species in a semi-arid climate, Thayne Montague, Roger K. Kjelgren, Rick Allen, and David Wester; Journal of Environmental Horticulture
- Energy balance of six common landscape surfaces and the influence of surface properties on gas exchange of four containerized tree species, T. Montague and Roger K. Kjelgren; Scientia Horticulturae
- Soil-water-use Characteristics of Precision-irrigated Buffalograss and Kentucky Bluegrass, J. Ryan Stewart, Roger K. Kjelgren, Paul G. Johnson, and Michael R. Kuhns; Applied Turfgrass Science
- Maintaining Hydraulic Control Using Deep Rooted Tree Systems, A. Ferro, M. Gefell, Roger Kjelgren, D. S. Lipson, N. Zollinger, and S. Jackson; Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology
- Quantifying Potential Urban Landscape Water Conservation through Billing Data Analysis in Layton, Utah, Roger Kjelgren, Fayek A. Farag, Christopher Neale, Joanna Endter-Wada, and Judith Kurtzman;Proceedings, AWWA Water Sources Conference: Reuse, Resources, Conservation
- Tree seedling establishment with protective shelters and irrigation scheduling in three naturalized landscapes in Utah, Roger Kjelgren, Neil Chapman, and Larry Rupp; Journal of Environmental Horticulture
- Water Conservation in Urban Landscapes, Roger Kjelgren, Larry Rupp, and Doug Kilgren; HortScience
- Gas Exchange and Growth of Two Transplanted, Field-grown Tree Species in an Arid Climate, Thayne Montague, Roger K. Kjelgren, and Larry A. Rupp; HortScience
- Surface energy balance affects gas exchange and growth of two transplanted landscape trees, Thayne Montague, Roger K. Kjelgren, and Larry A. Rupp; Journal of American Society of Horticultural Science
- The Carbon County Ball Fields, Paul G. Johnson and Marlon B. Winger; Journal of Natural Resources Life Science Education