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Keeping Australia's Driest Regions Lush

3 November 2014

Covering an area of 3000m2 the Onslow Community Garden and the Onslow School Garden are large community spaces in the Pilbara region of WA. As the gardens are largely made up of vegetable beds and tropical food forests, it was critical for the Shire of Ashburton to find the right irrigation solution to keep the area, in what’s regarded as one of WA’s driest regions, lush and plentiful.

Known for their extensive experience and skill with planning and designing integrated water systems, landscaping and sustainability experts Josh Byrne & Associates were called upon to plan and design a highly efficient irrigation system using a Weathermatic SmartLine weather based controller.

Weathermatic’s SmartLine System is the world’s leading weather-based controller. The controller uses weather data, location, sprinkler and soil type to make precise watering decisions. It works with the Weather Station, taking data every 8 seconds to automatically adjust duration, frequency and soak time to provide optimum watering.

The efficiency of the SmartLink system lies in its accessibility via a web-based system, ensuring it can be watched and monitored from any location. Multiple controllers can be managed globally, from any web-based device. Taking into account Onslow’s remote location (1386km North of Perth), this benefit was truly embraced, with the team accessing all controllers from their computer and tablet rather than having to send someone out to each individual controller to make changes manually.

Using the Weathermatic system, the gardens in Onslow also saw big savings, with a 53% reduction in water use over a three-month period. The carefully calibrated system of daily adjustment resulted in a wide range of benefits for the gardens above and beyond water savings, including financial savings, increased plant health from promoted root depth, reduced water run-off, reduction in staff time and pre-emptive email alerts to prevent plant or water loss.

When working on large projects with complex weather patterns and conditions, such as the Onslow gardens, Weathermatic offers a great irrigation solution that allows for careful zone-by-zone monitoring, taking into consideration different plant and soil types. Regular reports from the Smartlink Network also create an opportunity to continually improve and ensure your irrigation system is delivering the right amount of water without wasting a drop.

Read more about the Onslow Community Garden project here.

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