Smart Sprinklers

When you install a traditional sprinkler system, the rules are typically based on clock times. This can lead to over-watering. Imagine if your sprinkler could download data from the Bureau of Meteorology and make decisions for itself about when to water and not to water. With the 'internet of things' devices are connected to the internet, which leads to new possibilities such as 'smart' sprinklers.


You must devise the rules needed to operate the smart sprinkler.Your goal is to use the minimum water while maximising the garden health (aim for consistently above 80%).

The task

• The sprinkler rules can take into account current, past or forecasted temperature and rainfall • You can use up to 4 rules. • On each day, the first rule which is found to be true will be applied (starting from Rule #1). Be careful with the order of your rules. • The leaf indicator and water drop indicator will show you the performance of your sprinkler. • You can go to the simulation tab and get started. Good luck.

Exploring further

Once you have come up with a good solution for the best health with the least water, there are some other factors to consider. • You can check the 'Explore' tab which shows details of the simulated temperature, rainfall, evaporation, tap water usage, garden health and which operating rule is applied each day. By inspecting this you can check the behaviour of different rules, or perhaps improve your rules. • The 'Options' tab allows you to change your garden characteristics and how your simulation is run (e.g. use forecast information, run a multi-year simulation). See the 'Options' tab for more. • Explore more options using these worksheets: • We hope you enjoyed testing out your skills. If you are interested in learning more about environmental engineering, rainfall and evaporation models, or smart meters, check out our blog
Select a scenario

Specify rules for the smart sprinkler

How many rules?

Stage # 1: Garden Characteristics

Allows you to change the garden to a smaller or less intensive garden, e.g. by establishing native plants that are more resistant to the weather.
Congratulations. You have developed a reliable set of rules for irrigating your garden. Do you need to adjust these rules for different garden sizes or plantings?
Garden Size
Select a garden size
Garden Type
Select a garden type

Stage # 2: Simulation Length

Enables a multi-year simulation. This will give more insight into the variability from year to year.
You should have developed some rules that give reliable results for a one year simulation. Do these rules still work for longer simulations? If these rules are not as reliable what new rules would you apply?
No. of years
Select length of new simulation.
Note: If you are using historical weather data the simulation cannot run beyond the end of 2016.

Stage # 3: Forecast Information

New rule options enabled where the sprinkler can use forecasted weather information from the bureau of meteorology.
Can you use the new forecast weather information to reduce water usage?

Stage # 4: Simulate Random Weather

A random weather generator has been built-in to represent the typical variation in weather from year to year. Each time you click 'Simulate random weather' different patterns of rainfall, temperature and evaporation will be generated. Explore how much extra water would be needed to ensure the garden is reliably healthy and avoid occasional poor years.
Are your rules still reliable if the weather is simulated randomly? You will need to repeat the simulation multiple times to see how your rules perform on average.