Dedicated Irrigation Meter Introduction

irrigation meterA dedicated irrigation meter is a water meter that exclusively meters water used for outdoor watering and irrigation.  For many years utilities installed these meters for parks, medians, and playing fields, but more recently it has become common practice to install a separate meter for indoor and outdoor uses at many large sites with a significant irrigation demand.  Even for residential properties, there is a movement to use dedicated irrigation meters.

From the utility perspective, a separate meter just for irrigation provides the following benefits:

  • Accurate independent measurement of outdoor (and consequently indoor) use.
  • Better ability to manage peak demands driving by irrigation.
  • Ability to offer alternative pricing structures for domestic and irrigation water use.
  • Improved price signaling for outdoor water use.
  • Additional drought management tool.

From the customer perspective, a separate irrigation meter provides the following benefits:

  • Accurate measurement of outdoor water use.
  • Reduced wastewater bills as in most case volumetric wastewater charges only apply to indoor usage.
  • Separate shutoff for the irrigation system.

The only real negative associated with dedicated irrigation meters is the additional cost required for purchase of the meter and installation.

In general dedicated irrigation meters are a great benefit both to water utilities and to their customers and should be encouraged.