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Salem City Rolls Out Smart Irrigation to Avoid or Subsidize Costly Infrastructure Upgrades

“By leading by example when It comes to conservation, Salem is demonstrating that sustainable water use is not only achievable, but that it Is also attractive from financial and operational perspectives. We’re excited about our water savings, and we know Salem’s citizens will enjoy the healthy landscapes and cost savings that HydroPoint delivers.”

— Bruce Ward, P.E.
Salem City Engineer

Salem City, Utah saved nearly one million gallons of water in just 180 days with WeatherTRAK® smart irrigation. To achieve these savings, Salem City replaced inefficient irrigation timers with WeatherTRAK cloud-based, central control irrigation systems at city hall, the town cemetery and three parks. Salem subsequently implemented WeatherTRAK smart controllers at landscaped sites.

Salem City’s Smart Water Management program was funded in part by a grant from the Central Utah Water Conservancy District. Utah’s water consumption is second only to that of Nevada at 293 gallons per person per day. The state’s goal is to reduce per-capita consumption by 25 percent by 2050. To that end, Utah water agencies have implemented a range of rebates for water-efficient devices as well as ordinances that ban wasteful watering practices. Salem’s Smart Water Management program savings are unmatched by any other measure, which is why it is working to expand the program’s scope to include local businesses and residences.

Salem City implemented Smart Water Management to offset water system infrastructure upgrade expenses. For example, Salem had considered a $1.5 million infrastructure expense to meter its consumers’ water usage. Curbing unsustainable water use could either subsidize this project through water cost savings or even rendered it unnecessary. Salem City’s Parks Department had cut its own water bill in half using WeatherTRAK smart irrigation. It was their goal to motivate its businesses and residents to also adopt smart irrigation technology.

Beyond water savings, Salem City improved landscape maintenance efficiency with Smart Water Management. Manual adjustments were previously made at the irrigation box by landscape teams for all local weather changes. HydroPoint WeatherTRAK automatically adjusts watering schedules for changing weather conditions on a daily basis. In addition, programming and scheduling changes can be made remotely from a cell phone or other device connected to the Internet.