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On-line decision aide offers irrigation help

August 31, 2007

Media Contact: Charles H. Peacock, N.C. State professor of turfgrass science, at charles_peacock@ncsu.edu or 919-515-7615.
Ryan Boyles, director, State Climate Office of North Carolina, at
Ryan_Boyles@ncsu.edu or ryan_boyles@ncsu.edu

The North Carolina State University Department of Crop Science and the State Climate Office of North Carolina have collaborated to launch an Internet-based decision aide that will help lawn owners irrigate efficiently. The Turf Irrigation Management System (TIMS) is available at no cost to anyone in North Carolina, from homeowners to turf professionals.

The TIMS Web site, www.TurfFiles.ncsu.edu/TIMS, guides lawn owners through a step-by-step process that ultimately will help them determine how to improve irrigation practices and conserve water.

First, the system guides the lawn owner through a series of questions about the type of grass, soil and irrigation system currently in use. Lawn owners are then prompted to place containers throughout the irrigation area to measure the amount of water they're using over timed intervals. Once this data has been entered and the lawn owner's account established, TIMS calculates the amount of irrigation the lawn owner needs and keeps track of when and how much water is actually used.

Based on the lawn owner's address, climate information is then retrieved from the closest weather station, which is part of the N.C. Climate Retrieval and Observations Network of the Southeast (CRONOS). Ultimately, TIMS calculates the irrigation needed by the lawn owner's turf, based on recent weather conditions including precipitation and evaporation.

"Water conservation is everyone's business, especially as the drought in North Carolina worsens," said Dr. Charles Peacock, N.C. State professor of turfgrass science and a lead researcher in the TIMS project. "We believe that this system will help people across North Carolina to practice better water conservation for their lawns, landscapes or other turfgrass areas in this critical time for water resources."

The State Climate Office of North Carolina, housed at N.C. State, is a public-service center that is the primary source for climate data and expertise in North Carolina. The mission of the State Climate Office is to provide climate-related services to the state, local and federal agencies, businesses and citizens of North Carolina.

Additional members of the TIMS project team:
Dan Bowman
Department of Crop Science
N.C. State University
Project cooperator

Jenifer Jordan Reynolds
Department of Crop Science
N.C. State University
Design programmer

David Zahn
Department of Crop Science
N.C. State University
Database programmer

Mark Brooks
State Climate Office of North Carolina
Climatologist

Josh Hemperly
State Climate Office of North Carolina
Climatology intern

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Posted by Dave at August 31, 2007 09:11 AM