2022 Outstanding Industry Partnership Award Winner

Describe the goals of your program.

Through a collaborative effort between the Inland Empire Utilities Agency, its customer agencies and Conserv Construction Inc., the program focuses on the higher water use demographic within the small residential landscape sector. The program promotes an improved understanding of landscape irrigation control technologies while ensuring more efficient scheduling and operation of automated irrigation systems through required training class attendance, landscape evaluations and smart controller technology upgrades.

What need or problem are you trying to address with this program?

The program focuses on improving residential outdoor irrigation efficiency through in-person customer educational training and upgrading nonweather-based controllers to smart controllers.

Describe how the program increases engagement with landscape and/or irrigation professionals within the community you serve.

Conserv provides on-site customer training at the time of installation and requires customers to attend a mandatory pre-installation instructional class or online alternative. Conserv was understanding of the challenges presented during the COVID-19 pandemic and created an online workshop video to continue educational efforts while social distancing.

Describe how the program incorporates smart technologies, efficient technologies, best practices, or programs related to outdoor water conservation.

In addition to providing in-person and online landscape educational and instructional support, Conserv provides recommendations on other water-use efficiency programs and rebates available within their respective service area. Conserv also provides recommended watering schedules to ensure best management practices and water efficiency.

How is the program’s success measured?

The success is measured by the optimum efficiency of the new devices installed on-site, the tracking of water use reductions and the number of participant interests. Water savings are tracked in the IEUA Water Use Efficiency Annual Reports, which track the number of sites serviced, program expenditures and water savings achieved through the program. Furthermore, site inspections are conducted by email or phone to ensure customers receive quality service and needed support.

What are the results of the program to date?

Since 2016, the program serving western San Bernardino County has upgraded a total of 3,078 sites with 3,508 weather-based irrigation controllers for an estimated lifetime water savings of 1,255 acre-feet.