Twin Cities Lawn Irrigation Efficiency Study


  • $591,205


  • Completed winter 2021


The Metropolitan Council in cooperation with the University of Minnesota Extension conducted a project to increase the efficiency of water use in home landscapes by conducting site assessments, research and demonstration projects focusing on smart irrigation practices. Lawn irrigation system assessments were conducted at approximately 60 homes across the metro area, allowing for a ‘baseline’ of irrigation system performance to be created. A homeowner survey of landscape irrigation practices was conducted as well. An irrigation research station was constructed at the University of Minnesota Saint Paul campus, where an example of a typical irrigation system is being operated, along with five additional, high efficiency irrigation systems, allowing for differences in water efficiencies to be calculated. A ‘rainout shelter’ is being used to conduct 60-day drought trials of 29 different common grass seed mixtures. A public demonstration of efficient irrigation technologies was constructed at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. A mobile educational trailer showcasing smart irrigation technologies was built and deployed to various events across the metro area. It can be rented for events.



  • The Twin Cities metropolitan area will become more efficient in landscape and lawn irrigation water use
  • Growing communities will be able to add residents while adding less additional water supply capacity