Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Another year

Well, 2012 is on its way and we are ending 2011. Much has happened this year and our group should be proud of each and everyone's accomplishments. Thank you to everyone for your dedication and hard work! I look forward to an exciting and productive 2012! Here are a few memories from 2011.

Isaya presenting at extension. Always an excellent substitute - and good speaker!

Kaileigh downloading data at Snapper Creek. Kaileigh was part of the NSF REU last summer and will graduate from Purdue in 2012.

Tina and the mosquitoes at C111 - don't worry she gets the data no matter what!

Teresa and I helping Isaya in C111. I miss my Brazilian friend!

And, let's not forget the water quality conference! Aime saved my life this year.

And, a big thanks to Mike who helps make us look good on the web and in film! Not to mention collect great research data!

Looking forward to an even better 2012!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cultural interlude: two Spanish-language videos!

I recently produced a Spanish-language video for the Urban Conservation Unit (U.C.U.). This short work features a conservation-minded homeowner offering a tour of his self-installed and Über-efficient irrigation system – facilitated both by our recommendations and the MDC irrigation rebate program.

In with the new

When we first visited this property, all the tell-tale signs of inefficient water-use were present and accounted for:

...mechanical irrigation timer with indexing valve

...high-volume spray heads in excess - overwatering from the turf into the street and dousing established trees and shrubs in shaded areas.

Soon after our visit, the proactive homeowner took matters into his own hands and addressed all aspects of his system to increase efficiency:

...a digital timer with electric valves and a widely available “smart” add-on device replaced the old system.

This smart add-on keeps things simple by using historical regional climate information as a base, then adjusting irrigation run-times using on-site solar radiation and rainfall information.

Spray heads in shaded areas were removed and, where necessary, were replaced with adjustable micro-sprays.

And all sprays heads on turf were removed and replaced with efficient multi-stream rotators.

But don’t take my word for it, tour the system here!

An oldie but a goodie

Dwarfing all UCU videos produced to date, a short Spanish-language work we released earlier this year about drip line irrigation is a bonafide hit!

3,000+ views and counting, this piece was inspired by a homeowner association (HOA) in North Miami Beach that went from zero to hero with its irrigation system efficiency.

Outfitted with a classic mechanical/digital hybrid timer when initially assessed, with high-volume spray heads watering both turf and hedges, it also acted upon our recommendations to improve efficiency and reduce water-use.

How? Installing the smart timer we assigned it as part of the HOA program, and replacing all spray heads with drip-line in its shrub zones.

See what all the fuss is about here!

Monday, December 5, 2011

New video online: Research and development!

I recently produced a video for the Urban Conservation Unit (U.C.U.). This short work touches upon the foundation of many of the equipment and practice recommendations we make in our daily urban landscape irrigation system assessments throughout Miami-Dade: research!

Solid research into the water savings potential of both soil water sensors and weather-based timers is not only why these devices are now available on the mass market, but also why we suggest property managers and homeowners implement them into their inefficient irrigation regimes.

And when discussing irrigation-related research in Miami-Dade County, who better to consult than our very own Water Resource team here at TREC!

The starting lineup!

The video features Masters student Nicki Dobbs introducing her field study analyzing the effects of different irrigation control devices on nutrient leaching...

...Water Resource Tech Michael Gutierrez touching very briefly upon the Landscape Irrigation Project he has been working on since 2007...

...and Dr. Kati Migliaccio offering an overview of what we do and why research is critical.

View the video here.