PALM SPRINGS, Cali. -

Charles Wendt manages the large property of Desert Isle in Palm Springs. So when he heard the Desert Water Agency offered a free way to save water, he got real interested real fast.

"Cost for irrigation you can save anywhere from ten to thirty percent from what I understand," Wendt says. And he's right.

Water savings can range from 10 to even 30 percent just by installing the DWA's Smart Irrigation Controller.

"Usually people have one on their home or business already," says Katie Ruark with the Desert Water Agency. "It tells their sprinkles when to come on and off, and for how long to run. The only difference is that this one has a weather station attached to it, so it uses the actual weather each day to program the run times so that you can use water as efficiently as possible."
    
Is it cooler? More humid? Your controller will adjust accordingly and the savings can really add up.

"We have seven and a quarter acres here and with the water bill at about $50,000 a year so we're looking for some significant savings," Wendt explains.

The controller also constantly sends information back to the Desert Water Agency that can make sure everything works as it should. That can be a huge benefit for customers, especially for part time residents.

"If we see someone's water use spike and they've got a controller, that's unusual and so if we get in touch with that customer we've occasionally found out they've had a leak or some other problem happening on their property that they didn't know about because they weren't in town," Ruark says.

The DWA is able to offer the free controllers thanks to mitigation funds from the CPV Sentinel Power Plant.

Just apply to get your free water controller and the Desert Water Agency takes care of the rest. They will even install the device at no cost.

"It's been very painless. We don't even know it's going on," Wendt adds.

To apply for your own Smart Irrigation Controller, head to http://www.dwa.org/Controller