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Save Water: Enough To Feed A Nation


If a single home, by switching to smart irrigation, can save water (more than all of its low flow faucets, showers and toilets combined), imagine how much water you could save with smart irrigation when you are irrigating landscapes on 100 million square feet of real estate. Could the savings be nationally significant? Can enough water be saved to support enough food for a small nation? That’s what one major U.S. bank set out to discover.

During their strategic planning for sustainable practices, the company discovered landscaping for their corporate real estate portfolio was an area where substantial savings could be made. With their national network of branches and business campuses covering a combined 100 million square feet, those savings would both improve their bottom line and improve their environmental contribution.

Testing the waters

To confirm their savings potential, the bank first engaged ETwater to survey their branch locations across the country to identify the state of their current irrigation systems and quantify their savings potential. The results were astounding. By augmenting their current irrigation systems with a smart controller—a unique ability of the ETwater offering that enables smart irrigation without replacing existing infrastructure—their projected water savings were quantified at an astonishing 50%. With their savings potential confirmed, they set their goal to save 1 billion gallons of water annually, simply by adopting ETwater smart irrigation and its many features that empower a national roll-out.

A Ph.D. In Smart Irrigation

Indispensable for the Fortune 500 company’s aggressive sustainability schedule was ETwater’s unique ability to augment the existing sprinkler controllers with smart irrigation while preserving the existing irrigation infrastructure. This is done by adding a “smart remote” that connects to the existing sprinkler controller and replaces the existing fixed schedule with its own scientific and weather based dynamic schedule. This dynamic schedule is optimized for the local landscape and continuously adjusts to the local weather. It incorporates ETwater’s latest advancements in water saving technology. And, since the smart remote connects to the ETwater network on a daily basis, any further improvements to the algorithms immediately improve water savings nationwide.

Not needing to replace existing hardware also makes a nationwide roll-out possible in a matter of weeks, something that simply would be unfeasible otherwise.

Centralized insight into distributed systems

While ETwater deployed their technology for the bank across the country in just weeks, its mobile workforce solution enabled it to still capture copious amounts of data about each site. That data included information about the prior irrigation schedule, the number of zones, the type of vegetation and type of sprinklers in each zone, and any defects of those sprinklers or other parts of the irrigation system. This data is captured in real-time in the cloud with photos of each issue. All this data is combined into a report with insights on historical water use, projected water savings, current system issues and recommended fixes. Everything from the number of broken sprinkler heads to the recommended vegetation types for water-efficient landscaping for each region were presented in a comprehensive and insightful report.

The company is gaining insights into its landscaping operations that only ETwater’s data services has been able to give them. The centralized command center of the ETwater platform has for the first time enabled the accurate measurement of the bank’s economic, social and environmental success. And while the platform provided unprecedented reporting and insight, ETwater further curated the national roll-out with complete site monitoring and programming services to maximize performance. They monitored water use to track the savings against the bank’s aggressive goals.

These benefits combined delivered a remarkable ROI for the company.

Savings of national significance

The savings potential was great, and their savings goals aggressive, but the results were even more impressive. The water savings per site ranged from 25% to 68%, which represented cost savings ranging from 21% to 59%. Their water savings averaged 58% across all sites, which extrapolated to 3.1 billion gallons saved annually. To put that into perspective, 3.1 billion gallons equals 4,632 Olympic-size swimming pools, or the annual drinking needs of 17 million people—the entire population of The Netherlands. Imagine how much food you could grow with the saved water.


Never could the bank have previously foreseen that such a part outside their core business could have such impact on the preservation of natural resources, as well as their operating cost.

How much can you save?

It doesn’t take a national bank to gain significant savings. Most businesses with multiple locations stand to save tremendously, be it banks, hotels, department stores, restaurants, gas stations or others. To find out if your business qualifies for equally impressive savings, please call 1-888-685-5505 extension 1 to schedule a complimentary review from an ETwater irrigation expert.

Want to get a sample of ETwater’s reporting capabilities and get insight into how the ETscore irrigation efficiency rating is calculated? Complete the form below to download your sample.

 

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Richard Restuccia

Richard is a water management evangelist. He believes passionately in water efficiency and sees the financial and social benefits far too often to keep a secret. Richard is a spokesperson at industry events and on the Hill to provide direction and insight on landscape water management best practices. Richard puts his words into action through service on various boards and committees. He served on the Irrigation Association's Board of Directors and is a University of California Master Gardener. Richard also writes for other publications and is an award winning contributor to Lawn & Landscape Magazine. In 2014 his efforts were recognized with a “Leadership in Landscape” award. He has a great interest in the supply of clean water for people in developing countries and as an outdoorsman, spends his free time running, swimming and surfing.

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