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Irrigation Water Use Separation from Overall Use: Evaluation of Methodology and Verification of Assumptions

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  IRR10-9810.(doi:10.13031/2013.35896)
Authors:   Melissa Baum Haley, Michael D Dukes
Keywords:   Irrigation, indoor, outdoor, seasonal, utility, water use

There are often assumptions made when looking at combined, indoor plus outdoor, potable meter data to determine residential irrigation use. One common practice, when separating outdoor water use from total water consumption, is to assume the winter minimum use represents indoor use only. However, this assumption is not always accurate when considering warm-season turfgrass and landscapes in humid climates. As part of a household sensor-based irrigation water use study in Southwest Florida, 58 homes were metered with dedicated irrigation flow meters over a 26-month period in addition to potable meters recording total use. These homes were also part of an outdoor water use practices and perceptions mail-out survey, where household characteristics were ascertained. Simultaneously looking at meter data and demographic characteristics for each property, common assumptions and data separation methodologies will be compared. Both the winter average method and the minimum month method resulted in an overestimation of indoor use. Whereas the usage metric yielded overestimation of outdoor water use and required additional household characteristic data that intrinsically contain error. However, using a usage metric where household characteristics are verified yields similar results to that from dual meters.

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