Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2015UT196B

Information Systems for Landscape Water Conservation

Institute: Utah
Year Established: 2015 Start Date: 2015-03-01 End Date: 2016-02-29
Total Federal Funds: $31,086 Total Non-Federal Funds: $62,200

Principal Investigators: Kelly Kopp

Abstract: Utah State University’s (USU) Center for Water Efficient Landscaping (CWEL) proposes to develop methods for analyzing historical water billing data, acquired from water providers, for identifying water customers with a high capacity to conserve landscape irrigation water. Using historical water billing data, and coupling the information with the size of specific properties, a reasonable estimate of appropriate water use may be made. High capacity to conserve water customers are those customers that utilize irrigation water in great excess of actual plant water requirements. Historically, accessing water billing data across multiple agencies has been difficult because of data inconsistencies and general difficulty of use. CWEL proposes to automate this process in order to eliminate the arguably tedious task of going through billing data line-by-line, trying to ensure proper formatting. This project will identify and utilize new methods of mining water billing data and will combine these methods with existing landscape irrigation system evaluation data to identify properties and water customers with the highest potential to conserve water, as well as to determine the overall water-saving benefits of an existing landscape irrigation system evaluation program. We will refine current methods for determining the capacity of water customers to conserve by analyzing historical water use and comparing it to an estimated water use budget. The tools developed under this program will be available to state water agencies and will help them to directly identify water waste in their customer base and allowing them to improve their water conservation plans for the future.