Meeting Date:

April 20, 2009






Darby W. Fuerst,


Water Conservation


General Manager

Line Item No.:

4-2-1, 4-2-2


Prepared By:

Stephanie Pintar

Cost Estimate:



General Counsel Approval:N/A

Committee Recommendation:The Administrative Committee reviewed this item on April 14, 2009 and recommended approval.

CEQA Compliance:N/A


SUMMARY:Older automatic Irrigation Systems are often operated on a timer that has no adjustment for inclement weather.Rain Sensors are devices that can be attached to an automatic irrigation system to monitor rainfall levels.When the weather is wet, the Rain Sensor temporarily overrides the controller to prevent unnecessary irrigation.Once the Rain Sensor dries out, the system operates according to the clock.†† Staff is requesting authorization to purchase 500 Rain Sensors to provide to District water users free of charge along with easy to understand directions for installation.A bulk purchase reduces the cost per unit by several dollars.


In the pending conservation filing before the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), outdoor water use is targeted by the District and California American Water (CAW) as an area of potentially significant water savings.Although a Rain Sensor installation program was not proposed in the CPUC filing, installation of Rain Sensors on existing irrigation systems would be a prudent first step to achieving significant outdoor savings.Amendments to the conservation regulation are being proposed that will require installation of Rain Sensors for new construction, change of ownership/use, and expansion of use by August 2009.The proposed amendments also require Rain Sensors on all automatic irrigations systems, with the exception of irrigation systems managed by a Smart Controller.


RECOMMENDATION:If approved with the Consent Calendar, staff will be authorized a maximum of $8,400 of budgeted funds for purchasing 500 Rain Sensors.The Administrative Committee supported this purchase at its April 14, 2009 meeting.

BACKGROUND: Water savings achieved through irrigation system retrofits is essential to maintaining and extending the community's water supply, particularly during the current regulatory restrictions and during times of drought.The key to efficient outdoor irrigation is applying just enough water when necessary.Water-wise habits result in a healthier lawn and landscape, in addition to conserving water. Plus, reducing consumption reduces the userís water bill.The addition of Rain Sensors to the inventory of free water savings devices available from the District will contribute to reduced outdoor water use.An explanation of how a rain sensor works is attached as Exhibit 7-A.


IMPACT TO STAFF/RESOURCES:Funding for the purchase of Rain Sensors is available through the Water Conservation objective of the Fiscal Year 2008-2009 budget.Specifically, funding is available under the headings 4-2-1 Promote Best Management Practices, and 4-2-2 Educate Public and Enforce Water Waste Rules.



7-A††††† Fact Sheet:Rainfall Shutoff Devices