Frequently Asked Questions
What is IA-SWAT testing? How does it work?
The Irrigation Association has developed an independent third party testing protocol specific to “smart” controllers. Currently the protocol is administered through the Center for Irrigation Technology, an independent testing laboratory, applied research facility and educational resource center based at California State University, Fresno. The objective of this protocol is to evaluate how well current commercial technology has integrated the scientific data into a practical system that meets the agronomic needs of turf and landscape plants.
Each product evaluation is conducted by creating a six-zone virtual landscape subjected to a real-time climate through monitoring of a selected weather station to evaluate the ability of individual “smart” controllers to adequately and efficiently irrigate that landscape. After initial programming and calibration, the controller is expected to perform without further intervention during the test period. Performance results are then analyzed and if the product has proven to maintain root zone moistures within an acceptable range while minimizing excess, the manufacturer may choose to release results to the Irrigation Association for posting on the web site.
Review the results of these tests.
How can I get my company’s “smart” irrigation controller tested?
Product testing is offered at the Center for Irrigation Technology in Fresno, California. To learn more about submitting your product(s) for testing, please contact:
Center for Irrigation Technology
What are the SWAT committee’s current initiatives and priorities?
SWAT has made significant progress since the irrigation industry and water purveyors first met in New Orleans in 2002. Our first initiative, the development and launch of test protocols for climate- and soil moisture sensor-based controllers, has successfully been completed, as has a marketing study to assess existing market conditions and end-user attitudes. Our vision and efforts have also been recognized by the EPA. Some water purveyors are now requiring SWAT test results for "smart" controller rebates and incentives. We are off to a good start, but SWAT still has much to do to continue the monumental task of promoting new “smart” irrigation technologies and changing residential and commercial consumer thinking, habits, and purchasing behavior. With continued support from water purveyors, irrigation manufacturers and other industry leaders, SWAT can continue to make great strides in successfully meeting this challenge.
What can our company do to support the SWAT committee efforts?
The involvement and support of irrigation manufacturers is critical to the success of our education efforts. We need financial contributions to continue developing and expanding programs to support outdoor water use efficiency. And we need your expertise on the committee to help guide and move our efforts forward.
Please help us keep the momentum going by adding your organization to our growing list of valued SWAT Contributors, or by building on your previous support. For more information, contact Irrigation Association at 703.536.7080 or by e-mail. To volunteer your participation in the SWAT Technologies Promotion Group, e-mail Karen Guz, SWAT committee chair.