Rachio, developers of the amazing Iro smart sprinkler controller, today announced an app update that can reduce residential irrigation water usage by up to 30 percent. Version 1.7 of the free Rachio app uses enhanced evapotranspiration (ET) algorithms to move even closer to calculating the absolute minimum amount of watering required to keep a lawn or garden nice and green.
Using ET-based rain delay, the app no longer looks just at actual precipitation a day before and after a scheduled watering time. The app now monitors true soil moisture loss and skips the irrigation schedule if it appears that sufficient water is present.
Another change in the app is the addition of new vegetation, soil, exposure (shade), sprinkler nozzle and slope options, which creates up to 168 unique cycle/soak settings. By tweaking the data, it's possible to reduce water runoff and optimize the watering schedule. The app also allows the ability to create custom nozzle types with unique flow rates.
The final update is absolutely amazing and really demonstrates the power of connected devices. If you have a Nest Protect fire alarm/CO detector, you can link the two devices. If your smoke alarm goes off for a predetermined period of time, the Iro can automatically cycle sprinklers around the house, hopefully delaying the spread of fire to neighboring homes.
The update is available for download and installation today.