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Smart Sprinkler Controllers for SoCal Irrigation


Is your water bill climbing? Do you know how to save money and water at the same time? Your water department can help you learn solutions to these questions.

SoCal residents who enroll in a one-day class on California FriendlyTM landscaping may be eligible to receive a free “smart” controller for their sprinkler systems through a unique program created to introduce the latest in water-saving technology.

Home gardeners who are ready to cut their water bills in half can sign up to attend the California Friendly™ Gardening Workshop at Cerritos College. The workshop takes place from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and costs $39. Registration is by phone at (562) 467‑5050, extension 2521, or on-line at

Registered participants may be eligible to receive a free smart sprinkler controller worth $400 if they meet certain requirements and bring in their old controller. To find out if you qualify, please call Diane Harrelson at (213) 217-6167.

The smart controller giveaway is sponsored by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, with grant funding from Proposition 13 through the California Department of Water Resources.

“Smart controllers take the guesswork out of figuring out a lawn watering schedule,” said Andy Hui, who manages Metropolitan’s regional water efficiency programs. “These state-of-the-art devices monitor your garden or landscape’s environmental conditions and water your plants accordingly. Studies show the devices save of up to 40 gallons of water per household per day, or about 10 percent of total water use.”

The class and smart controller swap is part of a regional effort to heighten awareness of smart controllers and other new water-saving devices now being rebated by Metropolitan and its member agencies. For more information, log onto, a Web site sponsored by Metropolitan and the Family of Southern California Water Agencies

Learn more about the MWD of Southern California:

Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

Coverage Area: Counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Venturea

Population: 20,971,000 in the area: in MWD service area: (87%) 18,143,000

Population Growth: Population growth slowed during the early 1990s to just over 50,000 in 1995, before again rising to more than 300,000 per year in the period 1999 through 2002. Growth has continued at just under 300,000 since that time.

The most populated cities within Metropolitan's service area are Los Angeles (largest city in the state), San Diego (second largest in the state), Long Beach, Anaheim, Santa Ana and Riverside.

Major Challenges: In its role as supplemental supplier to the Southern California water community, Metropolitan faces ongoing challenges in meeting the region’s needs for water supply reliability and quality. Increased environmental regulations and competition for water from outside the region have resulted in changes in delivery patterns and timing of availability of imported water supplies. At the same time, the Colorado River basin has experienced a five-year drought that is unprecedented in recorded history, while total water demand continues to rise within the region because of population and economic growth.

Guiding Principles: WSDM Plan Principles and Goals The guiding principle of the WSDM plan is to manage Metropolitan’s water resources and management programs to maximize management of wet year supplies and minimize adverse impacts of water shortages to retail customers. From this guiding principle came the following supporting principles:

• Encourage efficient water use and economical local resource programs.

• Coordinate operations with member agencies to make as much surplus water as possible available for use in dry years.

• Pursue innovative transfer and banking programs to secure more imported water for use in dry years.

Increase public awareness about water supply issues.

The WSDM plan also declared that if mandatory import water allocations be necessary, they would be calculated on the basis of need, as opposed to any type of historical purchases.