Frequently Asked Questions about Evapotranspiration (ET) Irrigation Controllers

Evapotranspiration-controller-michael-Gutierrez

Evapotranspiration is the amount of water that is released into the atmosphere through evaporation and plant transpiration. An evapotranspiration irrigation controller is a device that uses data about the landscape, the type of irrigation system, and local weather conditions to determine when and how much to irrigate. This 5-page fact sheet written by Paul Monaghan, Ondine Wells, Michael Dukes, Maria Morera, and Laura Warner and published by the Department of Agricultural Education and Communications explains how the technology functions as well as how to install, program, operate, and maintain an ET controller for a money- and water-wise sustainable home landscape that’s lush and beautiful.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc237

Estimated Water Savings Potential of Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Activities

Figure 1. Any homeowner can independently adopt the Florida-Friendly Landscaping practices as long as they are consistent with HOA requirements and other restrictions. Credit: Michael Gutierrez, UF/IFAS
To help homeowners predict the impact of implementing some of the water conservation measures listed on Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ checklist, this 5-page fact sheet offers a table of estimated water savings. Homeowners can select activities which are the best fit for their landscape and can also see which have the most conservation potential. The water savings is compared to a baseline case of typical irrigation behavior. This 5-page fact sheet was written by Mackenzie Boyer and Michael Dukes, and published by the UF Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, August 2015. (Photo credit: Michael Gutierrez, UF/IFAS)
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ae515

Minimum Number of Soil Moisture Sensors for Monitoring and Irrigation Purposes

Figure 4. Soil moisture distribution mapsManaging soil moisture properly through irrigation is key to increasing crop yield and conserving water. By understanding soil moisture variability, growers can better manage their irrigation systems to apply the right amount of water at the right time. This 4-page fact sheet proposes guidelines for soil moisture sampling that account for spatial variability, which helps to determine the minimum number of soil moisture sensors required to survey and monitor a specific area for irrigation. Written by Lincoln Zotarelli, Michael D. Dukes, and Marcelo Paranhos, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, July 2013.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1222

Subsurface Drip Irrigation (SDI) for Enhanced Water Distribution: SDI – Seepage Hybrid System (HS1217)

Figure 7. Installation of subsurface drip tape at a depth of 24 in. below the soil surface in a potato field, Hastings, Florida. Upper figures: subsurface drip tape positioning after the installation. Lower left: detail of the manifold (PVC). Lower right: chisel plow adapted for subsurface drip installation. In terms of water use efficiency, the traditional seepage irrigation systems commonly used in areas with high water tables are one of the most inefficient methods of irrigation, though some irrigation management practices can contribute to better soil moisture uniformity. Subsurface drip irrigation systems apply water below the soil surface by microirrigation, improving the water distribution and time required to raise the water table for seepage irrigation. This 6-page fact sheet was written by Lincoln Zotarelli, Libby Rens, Charles Barrett, Daniel J. Cantliffe, Michael D. Dukes, Mark Clark, and Steven Lands, and published by the UF Department of Horticultural Sciences, March 2013.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1217

Interpretacion del contenido de la humedad del suelo para determinar capacidad de campo y evitar riego excesivo en suelos arenosos utilizando sensores de humedad (AE496)

Figure 1.  Relación general entre el agua disponible para la planta (ADP), la capacidad de campo, el punto de marchitez permanente, el agua no disponible y la clase de textura del suelo.Este documento resume las directrices para la determinación de la capacidad de campo y la programación óptima del riego para suelos arenosos utilizando sensores de medición de la humedad del suelo (SHS). Los sensores de humedad del suelo han demostrado potencial para el monitoreo de la humedad del suelo, y para el respaldo en la toma de decisiones de riego en cultivos hortícolas. This 4-page fact sheet was written by Lincoln Zotarelli, Michael D. Dukes, y Kelly T. Morgan, and published by the UF Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, January 2013.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ae496

Interactive Urban Irrigation Tool for Florida (AE485)

Screenshot of weekly email report.A team from UF/IFAS has developed an app for optimizing your home irrigation system using real-time weather data from the Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN). Learn more in this 5-page fact sheet written by K.W. Migliaccio, N.A. Dobbs, W.R. Lusher, J. Fan, M.D. Dukes, K.T. Morgan, and B. Ferraro, and published by the UF Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, March 2012.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ae485

Net Irrigation Requirements for Florida Turfgrass Lawns, Part 1: Report of Gathered Weather Data and Quality Check (AE480)

weather monitoring equipmentUrban water users need specific recommendations to irrigate efficiently and for planning and regulatory programs.The first step in the process of estimating net irrigation requirements is to check the quality of 30 years of weather data at ten different locations in Florida and one in Alabama. This 9-page fact sheet was written by Consuelo C. Romero and Michael D. Dukes, and published by the UF Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, August 2011. (AP photo by Milt Putnam, University of Florida/IFAS)
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ae480

Net Irrigation Requirements for Florida Turfgrass Lawns, Part 2: Reference Evapotranspiration Calculation (AE481)

Diagram of evapotranspirationUrban water users need specific recommendations to irrigate efficiently and for planning and regulatory programs. As the second step in the process of estimating net irrigation requirements, This 9-page fact sheet calculates reference ET for ten locations in Florida and one in Alabama. Written by Consuelo C. Romero and Michael D. Dukes, and published by the UF Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, August 2011. (Image from ca.gov)
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ae481

Net Irrigation Requirements for Florida Turfgrass Lawns, Part 3: Theoretical Irrigation Requirements (AE482)

sprinkler headUrban water users need specific recommendations to irrigate efficiently and for planning and regulatory programs. This 21-page fact sheet estimates net irrigation, effective rainfall, and drainage by using a water balance equation for ten locations in Florida and one in Alabama from data during the 30-year period of 1980-2009. Written by Consuelo C. Romero and Michael D. Dukes, and published by the UF Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, August 2011. (UF/IFAS Photo: Josh Wickham)
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ae482

A Guide to EPA’s Numeric Nutrient Water Quality Criteria for Florida (SL316/SS528)

This revised 10-page guide provides a basic, concise, and understandable description of the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) numeric nutrient criteria for Florida, the background events that led to its release, some pertinent scientific issues, and implications for the future. Written by Thomas Obreza, Mark Clark, Brian Boman, Tatiana Borisova, Matt Cohen, Michael Dukes, Tom Frazer, Ed Hanlon, Karl Havens, Chris Martinez, Kati Migliaccio, Sanjay Shukla, and Alan Wright, and published by the UF Department of Soil and Water Science, March 2011.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ss528

Frequency of Residential Irrigation Maintenance Problems (AE472/AE472)

The majority of Florida in-ground irrigation systems have some type of maintenance problem that could be causing excessive water use. Inspections should be done on a regular basis. This factsheet describes the five residential irrigation problems that represented half of the problems found in 3,416 audits by Urban Mobile Irrigation Labs in Florida. This 7-page fact sheet was written by Thomas R. Olmsted and Michael D. Dukes, and published by the UF Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, January 2011.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ae472

AE460 Interpretation of Soil Moisture Content to Determine Soil Field Capacity and Avoid Over-Irrigating Sandy Soils Using Soil Moisture Sensors

AE460, a 4-page illustrated fact sheet by Lincoln Zotarelli, Michael D. Dukes and Kelly T. Morgan, demonstrates how to correctly interpret capacitance-based soil moisture measurement devices to accurately measure volumetric soil moisture in sandy soils common to Florida. Includes references. Published by the UF Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, February 2010.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ae460

AE456 Evapotranspiration-Based Irrigation for Agriculture: Crop Coefficients of Some Commercial Crops in Florida

AE456, a 4-page fact sheet by Isaya Kisekka, Kati W. Migliaccio, Michael D. Dukes, Jonathan H. Crane, and Bruce Schaffer, identifies typical Kc values for some of the crops commonly grown in Florida. Includes references. Published by the UF Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, January 2010.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/AE456

AE457 Evapotranspiration-Based Irrigation Scheduling for Agriculture

AE457, a 6-page fact sheet by Isaya Kisekka, Kati W. Migliaccio, Michael D. Dukes, Jonathan H. Crane, and Bruce Schaffer, focuses on the main concepts related to ET-based irrigation scheduling and reviews the use of "smart" irrigation scheduling controllers for agricultural applications. Includes references. Published by the UF Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, January 2010.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/AE457

AE458 Evapotranspiration-Based Irrigation for Agriculture: Implementing Evapotranspiration-Based Irrigation Scheduling for Agriculture

AE458, a 4-page fact sheet by Isaya Kisekka, Kati W. Migliaccio, Michael D. Dukes, Jonathan H. Crane, and Bruce Schaffer, outlines step-by-step procedures to follow when implementing a "smart" evapotranspiration (ET)-based irrigation schedule and a do-it-yourself irrigation schedule. Includes references. Published by the UF Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, January 2010.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/AE458

AE455 Evapotranspiration-Based Irrigation for Agriculture: Sources of Evapotranspiration Data for Irrigation Scheduling in Florida

AE455, a 4-page fact sheet by Isaya Kisekka, Kati W. Migliaccio, Michael D. Dukes, Bruce Schaffer, Jonathan H. Crane, and Kelly Morgan, lists some of the public sources of ETo data for irrigation scheduling in Florida. Includes references. Published by the UF Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, January 2010.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/AE455

AE459 Step by Step Calculation of the Penman-Monteith Evapotranspiration (FAO-56 Method)

AE459, a 12-page fact sheet by Lincoln Zotarelli, Michael D. Dukes, Consuelo C. Romero, Kati W. Migliaccio, and Kelly T. Morgan, provides a step-by-step calculation of the reference evapotranspiration (FAO-56 method) for a given location from the available weather data. Includes references. Published by the UF Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, February 2010.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ae459

SL316/SS528 A Guide to EPA’s Proposed Numeric Nutrient Water Quality Criteria for Florida

SL316, a 9-page illustrated guide by Thomas Obreza, Mark Clark, Brian Boman, Tatiana Borisova, Matt Cohen, Michael Dukes, Tom Frazer, Ed Hanlon, Karl Havens, Chris Martinez, Kati Migliaccio, Sanjay Shukla, and Alan Wright, provides a basic, concise, and understandable description of the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed numeric nutrient criteria for Florida, the background events that led to its release, some pertinent scientific issues, and implications for the future. Published by the UF Department of Soil and Water Science, February 2010.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ss528

AE451 Basic Repairs and Maintenance for Home Landscape Irrigation Systems

AE451, a 7-page illustrated fact sheet by Mary S. McCready, Michael D. Dukes, and Kati Migliaccio, instructs homeowners in how to detect and repair some basic problems of automatic irrigation systems — clogged sprinklers, sprinkler and valve leaks, obstructed prinklers, overspray, missing nozzles, and design problems. Published by the UF Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, September 2009.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/AE451

SL283/SS496 Unintended Consequences Associated with Certain Urban Fertilizer Ordinances

SL-283, an 11-page illustrated fact sheet by George Hochmuth, Terril Nell, Jerry Sartain, Bryan Unruh, Michael Dukes, Chris Martinez, Laurie Trenholm, and John Cisar, discusses the research behind turfgrass growth, biology, and ecology, and soil nutrient cycling in the lawn. The unintended consequences of fertilizer ordinance restricted periods are presented to open dialogue among the stakeholders in the ordinance issue and to ensure that all information is presented to completely inform the policy-making process. Includes references. Published by the UF Department of Soil and Water Sciences, March 2009.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/SS496