Skip to main content

Laughlin Air Force Base Case Study

Challenge

Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio, Texas is the largest pilot training base in the USAF. The base covers 5.9 square miles and has 664 housing units. Laughlin also had the dubious honor of being the highest water consuming base, using an average of 216 million gallons of potable water each year. More than half of this potable water was used to irrigate the 220 acres of base landscaping.

When the second phase of the water conservation project is complete, the base expects to save 40 million gallons per year — a 60% reduction of their annual irrigation water usage.

Solution

In early 2015, the base completed the first phase of a water conservation project that saved 17 million gallons of water in fiscal year 2014. This represented a 10% decrease in the total annual water consumption from fiscal year 2013.

The project reduced the irrigated landscape from 220 acres to 68, converted to drip irrigation, and replaced plant material with native trees and grasses. They also installed 14 BaseStation 3200 solar-powered irrigation controllers that are centrally controlled with BaseManager.

Due to strict security, no offsite Internet communications are allowed. However, the air base was still able to implement central control by hosting their own BaseManager server. The Ethernet radios connected to the irrigation controllers communicate with the BaseManager server over a secure internal network.

Baseline Products

Solar-powered
BaseStation 3200™
BaseManager™ Self-hosted Server
Ethernet Radios

60% reduction of annual
irrigation water usage

Award

2015 Federal Energy and
Water Management Award