There’s irrigation, and then there’s “smart” irrigation. The difference? About 470,000 gallons of water.

Irrigation systems are designed to make landscape watering easy and automated, but they don’t always make the best use of resources. Traditional irrigation systems can waste water by watering in the rain and over-watering certain areas. In fact, a clock-timer-controlled irrigation system that isn’t properly programmed or maintained can waste as much as 25,000 gallons of water annually.

Smart irrigation systems take in site-specific weather data, using wet sensors in the ground and watering at ideal times to prevent evaporation. Only areas that need water receive it.

Smart irrigation systems prevent waste and can reduce consumption by 30%.

Knowing that the easiest way to conserve water is to reduce waste, The Home Depot set out to get smart about its own water use. Working with HydroPoint, a company dedicated to indoor and outdoor water management, The Home Depot piloted a smart irrigation system to save water at its store in Kennesaw, Georgia, and several other sites. The location was ideal for the pilot because it takes a lot of resources to keep plants hydrated in the heat.

The Home Depot’s Smart Solution

The smart irrigation system uses remote monitoring to observe temperature, wind, solar radiation and humidity. This information is sent to controllers that adjust the system to meet the current weather demands. The intuitive system will never automatically water plants on a rainy day because it is “scheduled.” The smart controllers also run remote checks and alert associates through a mobile system if valves aren’t operating, or if there are connectivity issues.

This irrigation system improves water conservation by up to 40% versus traditional systems. More than 400 stores have the HydroPoint system installed, and the company is continuing to expand the technology to additional stores.