A Minnesota-based company, Irrigreen, has developed an innovative sprinkler system aimed at reducing water usage for maintaining lawns and gardens. As per the EPA, lawns and gardens take up nearly a third of the water consumed by US homes. This amount goes up to nine billion gallons per day nationwide. Irrigreen’s system aims to address this issue by using a unique approach to water distribution. The traditional design for sprinkler systems involves placing heads along the edge of a zone and spraying inwards, resulting in overlapping arcs that often lead to overwatering. Irrigreen’s system deviates from this design by incorporating specially built software that calculates each nozzle’s surrounding surface area for every 0.8 degrees of rotation. This data is then used to adapt the nozzle’s rotational speed and valve opening, achieving a more even distribution of spray.
The system incorporates fourteen different-sized streams, allowing for precise control over the volume of water sprayed. As the streams increase in size, they cover greater distances from the nozzle head. Homeowners can input the desired amount of water coverage for their lawn, and the software calculates an irrigation schedule that avoids overwatering. Additionally, the software utilizes local weather data to further refine the watering schedule, similar to how a thermostat operates for indoor climate control. Irrigreen claims that its system can save up to 50% of household water use compared to conventional systems. Studies suggest the use of Irrigreen can save water considerably. One study reported 42.2% less water usage in a 30 feet by 60 feet space. While a 30-foot circular space saved 36.7% more water compared to a conventional system.
To further enhance its offerings, Irrigreen raised $15 million in seed funding in 2023. The company plans to use the funding to develop next-generation sprinkler software, create advanced cloud watering intelligence, and introduce smartphone app control and reporting features. These updates will improve precision in the amount of water delivered to different sections of plants via a single sprinkler head. This will enable users to accommodate diverse water needs within their landscapes. Today, water conservation is essential, as we are threatened by water scarcity and droughts caused by climate change. The EPA suggests various ways to conserve water, including outdoor options like planting native ground cover and installing custom irrigation systems such as Irrigreen’s. While Irrigreen’s system is specifically designed to save water, it is important to note that there are other methods available for water conservation as well.
Water prices are on the rise across the United States. Irrigreen acknowledges that their hardware may have higher costs compared to traditional systems, but the labor required for installation is significantly reduced, making it more cost-effective for larger yards with seven or more zones. Irrigreen’s system offers an attractive solution for homeowners looking to reduce their water usage while maintaining healthy lawns and gardens. The company’s focus on developing next-generation software, custom design features, and water tracking capabilities indicates its commitment to further improving water-saving technologies. While TechCrunch has not independently tested Irrigreen’s sprinklers, the startup has commissioned a study from Fresno State that supports its claims of water savings. As water scarcity continues to be a pressing issue, technologies like Irrigreen’s can play a crucial role in conserving water resources and mitigating the impact of droughts on the environment and communities.