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Macerich Malls Save 8.5m Gallons of Water with Irrigation Systems

Shopping mall operator Macerich saved 8.5 million gallons of water within 12 months after installing HydroPoint Data Systems’ WeatherTRAK smart irrigation controllers (pictured) at eight of its shopping centers in 2011, according to the companies.

WeatherTRAK reduced the malls’ outdoor water use between 13 percent and 27 percent per site, according to Macerich, which owns and manages 63 shopping centers and more than 64 million square feet of leasable space. The company says it plans to implement these irrigation controllers at 12 more properties by the end of 2012.

WeatherTRAK controllers provide 24/7 visibility to irrigation schedules and automated site monitoring via smartphone, laptop or any Internet-enabled mobile device.

Macerich installed the first controller in February 2011 at the Capitola Mall in Capitola, Calif. It reduced landscape water consumption by 24 percent within the first 90 days.

The company says it saw similar results for the other seven properties after deploying WeatherTRAK over the spring and summer months of 2011. The South Towne Center and Marketplace in Sandy, Utah realized $8,000 in savings on its first water bill after installing WeatherTRAK in September 2011.

In addition to saving money on water bills, Macerich says it also streamlined landscape contract hours typically spent on manual programming changes and site visits to adjust irrigation systems.

Walmart stores equipped with WeatherTRAK reduced outdoor water use an average of 39 percent since the systems were installed in 2008, the companies announced in May. Regency Centers, a grocery-anchored shopping center chain, also uses WeatherTRAK, which it says saves the company 42 million gallons annually.

In June, the Desert Mountain golf and residential community in Arizona installed IBM analytics software to help reallocate and reduce water usage. It expects the installation to reduce its water use by 10 percent and generate an additional 10 percent savings in energy costs related to water pumping and distribution.

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