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Off and running  continued

Building on the invention A provisional patent has been filed for the system, and a second phase of the project has been funded. The team plans to test LIRMS units in real-world conditions in urban cities and get feedback from water managers in the second phase. Researchers will also be developing an app to enable remote use of LIRMS and viewing of irrigation data. “We’re actually going to get a couple of units out onto residential landscapes, and we’re going to work closely with water managers on that,” Wherley said. “We will be building up a nice dataset to show, here’s the amount of water we can save under these types of soils and these conditions to demonstrate what this system is capable of.” LIRMS could benefit not only residential neighborhoods but also resorts, golf courses and commercial landscapes, Alvarado said. “Within two years, we hope that LIRMS technology will be on the market and available to consumers,” Wherley said.

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“If we can keep this water on the landscape, then we’re not only eliminating runoff of compounds that might impair the environment, but we’re also getting more water into the soil, which will result in a greener lawn that might be perceived as not needing as much water, continuing the water savings. It will help people achieve a better landscape, using less water than they’ve been using.”

Title: Development of a Landscape Irrigation Runoff Mitigation System Principal Investigator: Benjamin Wherley Co-Principal Investigators: Jorge Alvarado, Fouad Jabar, Richard White, Casey Reynolds

This project was funded by a joint Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Water Seed Grant: Creation and Deployment of Water-Use Efficient Technology Platforms. In 2013, the Texas Legislature charged the agencies to address the critical nexus for water-use efficiency as part of addressing the future water needs of Texas.

(L) Texas A&M researchers evaluate operation of the curb-installed LIRMS in response to irrigation runoff generated during a test run. (R) During initial testing at the Texas A&M Department of Soil and Crop Sciences Urban Landscape Runoff Facility, Texas A&M researchers discuss LIRMS controller design and operation. Photos by Dr. Benjamin Wherley, Texas A&M Department of Soil and Crop Sciences.

Texas Water Resources Institute's txH2O Spring 2016  
Texas Water Resources Institute's txH2O Spring 2016  

Articles on water resources research and education.