City of Prior Lake, MN
City of Prior Lake, MN

City to Offer Smart Irrigation Controller Rebate Program

It is estimated that 38% of the 615 million gallons of water pumped each year by the City is used for irrigation. This demand on the regional groundwater supply which the City wells pump from make water conservation increasingly important.

Smart irrigation controllers that are available can help reduce water usage. Studies have indicated that property owners can reduce water use for irrigation anywhere from 30 to 50 percent, also saving money. Smart irrigation controllers include a sensor that adjust sprinkler run times to an optimal level based on local weather conditions while maintaining a healthy lawn and landscaping. Some models include an app for a mobile device that can help monitor the system and allow residents to change the watering schedule from anywhere.

In 2017, The Metropolitan Council was awarded $500,000 from Minnesota Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment funds for a Water Efficiency Grant Program. The funds are used to lower the cost of resident purchase and installation of products that reduce water use, such as WaterSense-certified irrigation controllers.

In November 2019, the City was awarded a grant of $8,000 from the Metropolitan Council that the City will use to develop a rebate program for residents who install a smart irrigation controller. Matching City funds of $2,000 will make a total of $10,000 available for this three-year program. These funds will facilitate the replacement of 50 to 100 irrigation controllers. Program information will be available in the near future.