Resource Management and Planning Using Data Technologies

For the first week in October, Calsense made a trip to Las Vegas for the 12th annual WaterSmart Innovations (WSI) Conference & Exposition. This event gathers professionals from a wide myriad of water industry sectors to promote water-efficient technology and services, offer fresh perspectives for future practices and build lasting interdisciplinary relationships. In addition to exhibiting this year, Calsense’s President A.J. van de Ven co-presented an educational session with the University of Texas at Austin‘s Irrigation Coordinator Markus Hogue on the topic of Resource Management and Planning Using Data Technologies! Although not all regions in the U.S. currently struggle with drought, changing weather patterns may not always guarantee plentiful water supplies for the future, so conservation practice is recommended for safe and sustainable resource management.

Data and Water Resource Management

Data has the power to transform our world into a better place through improved resource management and planning. Rather than making arbitrary or experience-based choices, decision-makers increasingly rely on data to provide the most accurate overview of the challenges they face and understand the interconnected factors influencing that resource. As water usage becomes increasingly more challenging, it is our responsibility to utilize data to optimize and conserve the world’s most important resource. Outdoor landscape irrigation is one of the most wasteful uses of America’s freshwater, mainly due to the lack of usage visibility and data tracking.

Drought Brings Smart Irrigation to UT Austin

Decision making simplifies when your data tells a clear story of what management practices work, and where improvements are needed. The ability to scrutinize each data component of your landscape health, while maintaining a holistic overview, helps decision makers see the big picture behind their actions. Some institutions have already begun to see the value in data transparency, creating trust while achieving their sustainability and conservation goals.

When the city of Austin, Texas began to struggle with drought in 2011, the public’s eye turned to the big water users in town to see how they would approach water conservation, including the University of Texas at Austin. That year, Markus Hogue and the university irrigation team adopted the Calsense smart irrigation system on campus, starting with a baseline use of 176 million gallons of water. The university also replaced sprinkler nozzle heads with MP Rotators and replaced turf areas with drought tolerant plants.

Sharing the UT Austin Case Study at WaterSmart Innovations

In the video below, Markus Hogue presents some of the challenges experienced by UT Austin, and how they used data to track and visualize irrigation water use to conserve 70% of the 2009 base year, decrease their spending, and most importantly, demonstrate return on their investment. UT Austin was previously recognized for their achievements by winning the Texas Environmental Excellence award for Water Conservation in 2017 for changes in the irrigation system, with the addition of their irrigation dashboard to show data transparency. This video was taken at the WaterSmart Innovations Conference and Expo during Hogue and van de Ven’s educational session on Resource Management and Planning Using Data Technologies.

If you would like to review the presentation slides without audio, please click here.

The University of Texas at Austin is a shining example of how inefficiencies can be improved by pulling actionable insights from data. The ROI for the Calsense installations was met in three years, creating $1,000,000+ in cost avoidance, in addition to saving over 125,000,000 gallons of water so far! Calsense had a wonderful time helping share our customer’s story with the rest of the water industry at WSI to help others better understand the role data can play in our future resource management efforts.

A huge thank you to WaterSmart Innovations for hosting such a great event for water professionals to collaborate and learn from each other – bringing together sectors that may not normally cross paths with one another. Be sure to check out our News & Insights to see what other events Calsense has attended recently. If you would like to learn more about how to conserve water and save money, time and labor at your site, contact us today to see how we can help!