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Calsense | UT Austin: Resource Management and Planning Using Data Technologies


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Data has the power to transform our world into a better place through improved resource management and planning. Rather than making arbitrary or experience-based choices, decision-makers increasingly rely on data to provide the most accurate overview of the challenges they face and understand the interconnected factors influencing that resource. Data is not only for large companies - Small and Medium Businesses (SMB), and individuals can also access and utilize data to their benefit.

As water usage becomes increasingly more challenging globally, it is our responsibility to utilize data to optimize and conserve the world's most important resource. Outdoor landscape irrigation is one of the most wasteful uses of America’s fresh water, mainly due to the lack of usage visibility and data tracking. Although not all regions in the U.S. currently struggle with drought, changing weather patterns may not always guarantee plentiful water supplies for the future, so conservation practice is required for safe and sustainable resource management.

Decision making simplifies when your data tells a clear story of what management practices work and where improvements are needed. The ability to scrutinize each data component of your landscape health, while maintaining a holistic overview, helps decision makers see the big picture behind their actions.

Some institutions have already begun to see the value in data transparency, creating trust while achieving their sustainability and conservation goals. A case study will present the challenges experienced by the University of Texas at Austin, and how they used data to track and visualize irrigation water use to conserve 70% of the 2009 base year, decrease their spending, and most importantly, demonstrate return on their investment. The University of Texas at Austin won the Texas Environmental Excellence award for Water Conservation in 2017 for changes in the irrigation system with the addition of the irrigation dashboard to show transparency.

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Calsense | UT Austin: Resource Management and Planning Using Data Technologies

  1. 1. RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AND PLANNING USING DATA TECHNOLOGIES Calsense and The University of Texas at Austin
  2. 2. Markus Hogue The University of Texas at Austin Program Coordinator: Irrigation and Water Conservation A.J. van de Ven Calsense President
  3. 3. Water • A global issue • A reliable water supply is necessary for socioeconomic development, energy and food production, healthy ecosystems, and adaptation to climate instability.(United Nations)
  4. 4. Lack of Water Data Oversight • Government water data only compiled once every 5-years • Data informs & guides opportunities to change behaviors (Fishman)
  5. 5. Data Technology and Resource Management • Analysis & fine-tuning of management strategies • A.I. will improve the resource struggles with population growth
  6. 6. U.S. Water • 30% of money spent on water systems through 2025 will be targeted for water loss control • Water scarcity • Why should water-plentiful areas care? • Water loss = energy loss • Conservation reduces need for costly infrastructure (EPA, Sierra Club)
  7. 7. Smart Controllers and Water Management • Budgets/Mandate s • Water Conservation • Cloud accessibility • WaterSense Program Look for this label:
  8. 8. Smart Controller Data • Flow Analysis • Budget • Pressure • Weather • Usage • Labor (People/Acre) • Capacity • Water Window • Soil Moisture • Restrictions
  9. 9. Case Study: UT Austin • 134 Automatic irrigation controllers • 29,744 Irrigation heads • 53 Manual zones • Previous yearly irrigation consumption 176 million gallons of water (2009) • Irrigation System upgraded in 2011 • 2012 - 2018 consumption was 70% lower on automated systems
  10. 10. The Problem
  11. 11. The Problem
  12. 12. Solutions Implemented Drone s Smart irrigation Data Analytics
  13. 13. Results
  14. 14. Next Steps (New Technology)
  15. 15. Conclusion • Data reveals our resource interdependence patterns • IoT optimizes data sharing • Allows for quicker analysis and adjustments to current/future practices
  16. 16. Contact Information Markus Hogue (512) 475-7750 A.J. van de Ven (800) 572-8608