In the past, some contractors have been apprehensive to install smart controllers but that is about to change. With controller manufacturers like ETwater continuing to innovate water management software and the introduction of Jain Unity, soon every controller will be managed remotely. Contractors will realize water management and site management can all be done much cheaper, easier and more accurately with a smart controller.
Choosing the right controller and management platform for a particular project can be a confusing process. One of the first things to ask yourself as a contractor is, “do I care enough about my customer’s water usage to spend time managing from a computer or tablet”. For years water management has been handled at an emission device level, pressure regulated pop-ups, rotors or compensated manifolds and point source emitters among others. While these are effective conservation devices there is an important next step to using these devices properly. The future of the irrigation contractor, like it or not, is heavily influenced by technology and the efficiency of managing multiple sites remotely and accurately.
As contractors, we spend a lot of time making decisions about the hardware aspect of a controller and not the software that makes the controller work to the best of its ability. This makes sense because for the last 50 years we’ve been installing controllers, setting the time and walking away. Fortunately, a contractor no longer has to stand in front of a controller and set up a schedule. Cloud-based software like the new Unity platform is going to set up a schedule that adjusts every hour to ensure maximum system efficiency. How does the controller know when and how much to water? This is where a true water manager comes into his or her element.
Unity offers a new way to manage water. A central interface allowing users easy setup of all their stations at once, 17 data point scheduling and the easiest to use reporting features available. While these data points have been used for years with legacy ETwater Manager software I thought it would be nice to review a few important ones.
- Dew Point
- ET (Evapotranspiration)
- Forecasted Rain
- Cloud Cover
- GHI (Global Horizontal Irradiance)
- Soil Heat Influx
- Slope Vapor
17 data points may just sound like a healthy number to escape the competition but these variables are crucial when managing a water user that consumes millions of gallons a year.
Additional features of new Unity software include; data push notifications and predictive analytics that allow users to review scheduling two weeks in the future or two weeks in the past.
With the merger between JAIN and ETwater completed, ETwater is now picking up where they left off with industry-leading software innovation. It’s no surprise that a technology giant like JAIN was able to see the direction Unity needed to go and provide the resources to get them there. JAIN is currently leading the way in satellite imagery technology, remote monitoring, smart filtration and of course software development.
Unity works with all existing ETwater controllers and finally answers the question “How much water does a landscape need?”.