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Audit Based Landscape Irrigation Scheduling

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  5th National Decennial Irrigation Conference Proceedings, 5-8 December 2010, Phoenix Convention Center, Phoenix, Arizona USA  IRR10-10040.(doi:10.13031/2013.35895)
Authors:   Brent Q Mecham
Keywords:   Auditing, distribution uniformity, scheduling, run time multiplier, DULQ

Landscape irrigation auditing has been used to gather site information to create irrigation schedules. The popular or current version of a landscape irrigation audit was originally created during the mid 1980s by the Irrigation Training and Research Center, California Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo as the Irrigation Water Management program. During the early years of the 1990s the Irrigation Association with permission from the Department of Water Resources and the Irrigation Training and Research Center adapted the program to train individuals who wished to become certified landscape irrigation auditors. The auditor collects site data, inspects sprinkler head installation, if sprinklers seem to be operating optimally for the particular circumstance, measures sprinkler performance using catch cans calculating a net precipitation rate and lower quarter distribution uniformity (DULQ). The audit data is used to create irrigation schedules. Originally the DULQ was used to establish an irrigation water requirement which for landscape projects greatly overestimated the water need. Current practice is to now create a schedule assuming a perfect performing system and to use a run time multiplier that is closer to using lower half distribution uniformity to create an upper limit of additional water giving guidance to the irrigation manager to implement a schedule.

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