Soil Moisture Meters Influence Landscape Water Use
In response to drought conditions, urban population growth, and dwindling water supplies in Utah, Utah State University (USU) Extension implemented a study using soil moisture meters. USU Extension distributed free soil moisture meters to residents across the state in order to help them irrigate their landscapes accurately based on plant needs and site-specific conditions. Soil moisture meters were distributed during fairs, festivals, classes and other summer events in eight counties. Each meter was packaged with an instructional tag, which included a watering guideline and a link to online resources for water conservation. Researchers used online surveys to determine whether the meters affected irrigation habits of the participants. According to survey results, soil moisture meters can assist residents in effective water use in the landscape. Furthermore, 72% of participants reduced their irrigation after using their meter.