Wednesday, August 17, 2011

City of Petaluma Smart Yard® Program Estimated to Save 45 Million Gallons of Water
The City of Petaluma Department of Water Resources and Conservation (WRC) ... announced the launch of Smart Yard®, a ... water conservation program designed to achieve more sustainable water use for Petaluma water customers. ... WRC aims to improve the irrigation water use efficiency of Smart Yard participants to save more than 45 million gallons of water over the next five years.

Smart Yard will provide a WeatherTRAK® smart irrigation controller to qualifying water customers at no up-front cost. Smart controllers automatically adjust irrigation schedules via satellite technology, taking the guesswork out of watering your yard. Participating homeowners pay the balance with zero-interest financing from WRC, which places a fixed fee of $14.95 (for one 12 station controller) on their monthly water bills for 5 years. In most cases, the water savings achieved by the WeatherTRAK smart controller will offset the program fee. The program also provides homeowners with a landscape water use evaluation and installation of the WeatherTRAK smart irrigation controller, as well as a rain sensor and on-going customer service. 

WRC is partnering with Petaluma-based HydroPoint Data Systems, Inc., provider of the WeatherTRAK Smart Water Management solution, to manage the innovative water conservation program. The WeatherTRAK smart irrigation controller has been proven to conserve water in 23 public agency studies. Landscape water use, on average, consumes more than 60 percent of the nation's water supply, and most landscapes are typically overwatered by 30 to 300 percent. The WeatherTRAK smart controller will help to ensure that landscapes receive the proper amounts of water.
To learn more about the Smart Yard program, visit which claims that water bills can be cut from $250 to $1,500+. The site claims that most homeowners save 33% of their outdoor water cost. One homeowner claimed a 25% overall bill reduction. A tiered rate structure, which rewards savers and penalizes wasters, is implemented. The City of Petaluma is focusing on landscapes because nearly 65% of the region's water supply is used for irrigation. Most landscapes, even those with low-water-use plants, are overwatered by 30% to 300%, according to water agency studies. WeatherTRAK smart controllers are the choice of more than 24,000 subscribers including 50 water providers and numerous Fortune 500 companies.
Typical water consumption for a single-family residential customer in Petaluma (see is about 12 hundred cubic feet (hcf) per month, or 8,976 gallons. 1 hcf = 748 gallons.
The monthly service charge is based on meter size.

Size of Service
Fixed Service Charge
5/8” Service $5.69
3/4” Service $5.69
1” Service (residential) $6.84
1” Service $7.07
1 1/2” Service $12.40
2” Service $19.46
3” Service $40.19
4” Service $54.13
6” Service $78.19
1.2 Water Consumption Charge

Consumption Charge
Single Family Residential ($/hcf)
Tier 1 (0-9 hcf) $2.94
Tier 2 (10-18 hcf) $3.41
Tier 3 (19-24 hcf) $4.35
Tier 4 (25+ hcf) $4.82
Multi-Unit ($/hcf) $3.14
Business, Industrial, Public ($/hcf) $3.14
Example Single Family Residential Customer Water Charge
For an average single-family residential customer, with a 5/8” service and using 12 hcf monthly, the first 9 hcf would be charged at $2.94 per hcf. The next 6 hcf would be charged at $3.41 per hcf. The total bill would be as follows:
Service Charge = $5.69
Consumption Charge = (9 hcf x $2.94) + (3 hcf x $3.41) = $36.69
Total Monthly Charge = $42.38
In 2011, [Hydropoint] subscribers including The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO), Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), Regency Centers (NYSE: REG) and numerous public institutions will [reportedly] save 17 billion gallons of water, 68 million kilowatt hours and 91 million pounds of CO2. Facing water rates ranging from $2 to $6 per 1,000 gallons and related expenses due to overwatering damages ranging from $500 to $10,000 per site, companies across the U.S. have identified WeatherTRAK as the green initiative with the fastest payback. Headquartered in Petaluma, Calif., HydroPoint is privately owned and operated. 
HydroPoint Data Systems, Inc. 
July 27, 2011

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