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Inland Empire Utilities Agency named recipient of SWAT Outstanding Industry Partnership Award

The Residential Small Site Controller Upgrade Program promotes efficient irrigation through an improved understanding of landscape irrigation technologies.

FAIRFAX, VIRGINIA (Oct. 5, 2022) — The Irrigation Association has named the Inland Empire Utilities Agency in Chino, California, as the recipient of the Smart Water Application Technologies 2022 Outstanding Industry Partnership Award. This award recognizes a water provider that has successfully implemented a program focused on partnership building with landscape and irrigation professionals to promote outdoor water conservation.

Through its Residential Small Site Controller Upgrade Program, the Inland Empire Utilities Agency promotes an improved understanding of landscape irrigation control technologies while ensuring more efficient scheduling and operation of weather-based irrigation systems that includes required training class attendance, landscape evaluations and smart controller technology upgrades. The program is a collaborative effort between the Inland Empire Utilities Agency, its customer agencies and Conserv Construction Inc.

“The Inland Empire Utilities Agency’s Residential Small Site Controller Upgrade Program is a great example of how a partnership between a water provider and private industry can use in-person education as a catalyst to create change leading to more efficient irrigation practices,” said Natasha Rankin, MBA, CAE, IA CEO. “Being in an area currently experiencing severe drought, programs such as this are vitally important in our industry’s effort to make the best use of our scarce natural resources. Congratulations to the Inland Empire Utilities Agency and their partners for this well-deserved SWAT award.”

The Residential Small Site Controller Upgrade Program focuses on improving residential outdoor irrigation efficiency through in-person customer educational training and upgrading nonweather-based irrigation controllers to smart controllers. In addition to providing in-person and online landscape educational and instructional support, the program provides recommendations on other water-use efficiency programs and rebates available within their respective service area. Recommended watering schedules are also provided to ensure best management practices and water efficiency.

Since 2016, the program serving western San Bernardino County has upgraded a total of 2,340 sites with 2,669 weather-based irrigation controllers for an estimated lifetime water savings of 1,105 acre-feet.

The 2022 Outstanding Industry Partnership Award was announced on Oct. 5 during the WaterSmart Innovations Conference and Exposition. Applications for the 2023 SWAT awards will open in early 2023. For more information about SWAT and the annual awards, go to