ET Water Systems, Inc. announced a significant upgrade to its award-winning ETwater Manager web-based smart irrigation management system. ETwater Manager will now incorporate rainfall forecast data into its scheduling engine, allowing for automated suspension of irrigation before it rains and offering additional water and dollar savings.

The new feature is a software-based upgrade, available starting in November 2012 to all ETwater users at no additional cost. ETwater Manager currently checks local weather throughout the day, and when precipitation begins, watering schedules are adjusted accordingly. The new Rainfall Forecast feature takes weather-adjusted irrigation management to the next level, allowing for scheduling adjustments based on weather patterns forecasted up to seven days in the future.

According to product manager Mark Puckett, “We’re always looking for ways to save more water for our customers and realized that using forecasted weather could help eliminate unnecessary irrigation. If you know it’s going to rain tomorrow, why irrigate today? With this new feature you can setup your ETwater Manager system to automatically suspend irrigation based on forecasted rain. The resulting savings in both water use and dollars spent is not currently possible with any other weather-adjusted system on the market.”

Three levels of customization are built into the new Rainfall Forecast feature: First, users choose the percentage of rain threshold that will apply. For example, to suspend irrigation based on a 30% versus 50% chance of rain. The second level of customization is choosing the number of days in the future the forecast will look, from one to seven days. Finally, users may choose automatic rain suspension based on the customized settings or alternatively, they can opt to receive email notifications of the forecasted rain and make adjustments themselves.

“We saw an opportunity to add additional capabilities to our software and scheduling engine to generate additional savings for our customers, so we challenged our software developers to create something that has not been done before,” commented ETwater CEO Pat McIntyre. “It’s a tremendous new benefit, especially as we continue to see increased focus on water conservation with water scarcity and drought becoming more prominent issues.”

The Rainfall Forecast feature will be demonstrated at booth #1155 of the Irrigation Association’s Irrigation Show and Education Conference in Orlando, FL, November 2-6, 2012. The feature will be available to all ETwater customers following November’s show. Future enhancements include a risk analysis based on rising vs. falling ET, moisture balance, and other horticultural benchmarks, on a per-station basis.