Water your lawn with your Macintosh

“With summer heat and deepening drought upon us, the stringent outdoor watering restrictions adopted July 15 by the [California] State Water Resources Control Board present many homeowners with a conundrum: how to keep their landscaping alive while staying compliant,” Carol A. Crotta reports for The Los Angeles Times. “The good news is that a new generation of ‘smart’ irrigation systems, designed to increase water-delivery efficiency and minimize waste, is available today, often at reasonable cost.”

“This includes sophisticated controllers that read real-time site conditions and deliver just enough water to keep plants healthy. Sensors that deliver water based on the amount of moisture in the soil,” Crotta reports. “Sprinkler heads that maximize penetration and limit drift and runoff. These innovations have enough potential to address the state’s extreme drought that government agencies are willing to pay for homeowners to install them.”

The Cyber Rain XCI smart irrigation system can be operated from a computer or mobile device. (Cyber Rain)
The Cyber Rain XCI smart irrigation system can be operated from a computer or mobile device. (Cyber Rain)

“The most sophisticated of the ‘smart’ systems are the so-called weather-based irrigation controllers, or WBICs. These take in real-time weather data, either captured on-site through roof-mounted weather sensors or from historical and local satellite-fed data. The controller applies the information to the preprogrammed specifics of the garden — soil type, sun exposure, plant type, slope — to deliver a specific quantity of water,” Crotta reports. “WBICs range in sophistication from ones that simply shut off when there is rain to a micromanager’s delight, allowing a homeowner to control every move at every station from the convenience of a home computer.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “David G.” for the heads up.]


  1. The Mac based Toolip residential automation system has been saving water for many years by controlling irrigation with automatic variation of yearly cycles, measuring local rainfall and checking a flow meter to detect leaks or unwanted changes in water budgets.

  2. Wow, interesting article. In Southern California, the Cyber device gets a $80 rebate, costs $499, and should save water. Runs on a mac. Seems like a worthwhile geek tool.

    I never thought about a water manager before.

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