Reducing Water Use on Twin Cities Lawns through Assessment, Research, and Demonstration
$50,000 in 2015 from the clean water fund is to partner with the University of Minnesota's Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) to identify opportunities for industrial water users to reduce or reuse their water consumption within the North and East Metro Groundwater Management Area.
The proposed outcomes including providing information and demostration projects that will promote reduced outdoor water use in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.
Outcomes will be reported at project completion.
The Metropolitan Council, in conjunction with the University of Minnesota, is evaluating outdoor water use in the Twin Cities metro region - a subject which has come under the spotlight recently due to concerns related to water quality and quantity issues. In the Twin Cities, 20% of all treated drinking water is used outdoors, with a majority of this being used on lawns and landscapes. The goal of this proposal is to reduce water use in the home landscape by conducting assessments, research, and demonstration around the smart use of irrigation.
Nationally, water use in the home landscape accounts for nearly one-third of all residential water use, totaling nearly nine billion gallons per day (EPA, 2013). Lawns are the single largest irrigated area in the United States, accounting for over 40 million irrigated acres, or four times the irrigated acreage of corn (Milesi et al. 2005). In the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area (TCMA), approximately 20 percent of treated drinking water is used outdoors (City of Minnetonka, 2012), and summer water use is nearly three times greater on average than winter use (Metropolitan Council, 2014).
The objectives of this project are:
1) Assess lawns in the TCMA to determine water use patterns, irrigation system efficiencies, age of irrigation systems, acres of irrigated lawns, and general lawn characteristics
2) Use data generated in Objective 1 to inform research and demonstration projects related to in-ground irrigation system technologies in urban settings