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.