Evaluation of IA SWAT Testing Protocol for ET Controllers

by Michael D. Dukes,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2008: Ahupua'A


In recent years the Irrigation Association (IA) has developed a testing protocol for Smart Water Application Technologies (SWAT). These technologies consist of irrigation controllers such as soil moisture sensor controllers or evapotranspiration (ET) based controllers for landscape irrigation. The ET controller protocol was developed by the Center for Irrigation Technology (CIT) at the University of California Fresno. Now that the EPA Water Sense program is considering adoption of the SWAT protocol, the methodology has come under great scrutiny and up to this point it has not been peer reviewed. There is concern that the protocol is biased toward arid conditions; however, the Water Sense program will be nationwide and any procedure used to certify products must represent the entire U.S. This paper will review the current test protocol and simulate performance of the protocol under humid climate conditions. In addition, recent testing of the protocol under Florida conditions will be presented. Conclusions and recommendations regarding the protocol will be presented.

Subject Headings: Irrigation | Hydrologic models | Reviews | Landscape irrigation | Water management | Soil water | Sensors and sensing | Florida | United States

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