Irrigation, Water Use & Drought

Efficient Irrigation for the Home Landscape

sprinkler heads

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.

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Water Check Program

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.

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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. 

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Landscape Lysimeter Project

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.   

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Climate-Based Irrigation Controllers Project

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

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. 

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Related Peer-Reviewed Publications