Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Saving Water with Manatee County’s Mobile Irrigation Lab

On one of my many field adventures this summer I was able coordinate an impromptu visit with some of the team that comprises UF/IFAS Manatee County’s Mobile Irrigation Lab (MIL). I was working near their next residential irrigation evaluation, and they were kind enough to let me stop by to shoot video and pepper them with questions.

Your mobile irrigation lab's mobile irrigation lab
Rebate and cost-share programs that encourage outdoor water conservation are widespread in Florida. Many programs promote the use of smart irrigation technology (soil moisture sensors and weather-based irrigation controllers), rain sensors, or replacing irrigated turf with non-irrigated Florida-Friendly Landscaping.

L to R: irrigation rebate program examples from Miami-Dade County and Orange County 
The idea is to improve overall system efficiency (often among especially extravagant water users) and save water.

Kind of a Big Deal
Manatee County Utilities Department funds such a program as well, and lore has it that it’s the best in the state – offering sizable incentives for practical system upgrades, and cementing the save water ethic with mandatory educational classes for participants.

So I had to see it for myself and the MIL, who evaluate the irrigation systems and make the rebate-worthy recommendations, were just the people to talk to.

Screen the video below. Learn more about Manatee County’s rebate programs here.

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