A close up view of a coral Aloe

SmartLandscape at UC Davis

Project Overview

The CCUH, Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department and the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences have joined forces with the SmartFarm initiative and are partnering with over thirty horticultural professional companies, agencies and private donors to create “SmartLandscape” at UC Davis. The CCUH will expand knowledge of “key” landscape water conservation practices learned from conducting over 35 irrigation management workshops for landscape professionals on this project and will provide educational opportunities for undergraduate students. 

The latest available irrigation technology will be employed with the ability to disperse water, measure applied water and to validate landscape water savings. Additionally, this site will utilize sustainable management practices along with low water-use plants and landscape best management practices. 

At the conclusion of 2023, we are pleased to report that our SmartLandscape student teams have designed and installed 8 landscape demonstration and research projects.  Our SmartLandscape student support fund has provided support to 12 student co-coordinators (paid positions) and over 90 undergraduate interns.  Interns are exposed to hands-on-experience, leadership experience, as well as the opportunity to work directly with industry professionals, faculty and staff. Click here to read more about student opportunities at SmartLandscape and to read student testimonials.

All SmartLandscape projects have been designed to meet California's State Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (MWELO).  Our projects follow the MWELO Performance Approach, and a water budget is calculated to ensure compliance.  The Maximum Applied Water Allowance (MAWA) and Estimated Total Water Use (ETWU) are calculated for each landscaped area and in order to be MWELO compliant, MAWA > ETWU.  For many of our projects, we have installed flow meters that allows measurement of Actual Water Applied to each landscaped area.  AWA is the definitive measurement for ensuring MWELO compliance for ETWU is a calculated estimate.  For our SmartLawn and SmartScape projects, you will be able to see graphs of MAWA, ETWU and AWA which will demonstrate MWELO compliance.  

SmartLandscape Project Map


For more information on our student intern teams, and photo documentation of SmartLandscape progress, feel free to explore the individual projects from the side menu. The SmartLandscape initiative will provide a nexus with researchers, industry professionals, agencies, NGO’s and students showcasing landscape water conservation and water use efficiency.

For any questions or inquiries or if you have interest in providing support for the SmartLandscape, please contact: Dave Fujino: dwfujino@ucdavis.edu
  • Project Objectives
  • Demonstrate water conserving & efficient landscapes (as per MWELO)
    Demonstrate irrigation technology (smart controllers, rotary nozzles, inline drip, etc.)
    Provide experiential student learning opportunities (leadership and interns)
    Connect industry professionals with academic researchers, staff & students
    Conduct science-based research
    Leverage cutting-edge technology (robotic mower, spectral imaging, etc.)
    Provide policy makers with landscape water conservation & water efficiency information

BEFORE: SmartLandscape site at WCAE
Conceptual Design: July 2019
Conceptual Design: July 2019
Google Earth

Campus-based Partners

Campus-Based Partners

Industry Partners

Industry Partners

Individual Partners

Alison Fujino

Angela Kelly

Brian Harradine

Bryan Jenkins

Carmia Feldman

Clay Swackhamer

Craig and Karen Senders

Dave and Susan Cox

Don Burrus

Elizabeth Traynham Estate

Fadi Fathallah

Jamie Shattuck


Leslie and Carlton Parks

Karen and Samuel Evans

Marcie Kirk Holland

Russell Satake

Sara and Colin Stewart

Steve Thigpen

Loren and Cynthia Oki

Marc and Rachel Truscott

The Nelson Family Charitable Trust

Tim Steele

Timothy Schimmel

Victor Duraj