President's Update - August 23, 2023

Wed, 08/23/2023

Clean and fresh water, along with proper wastewater management, are essential for all residents of The Landings. Your Landings Association (TLA) takes a central role in overseeing water and wastewater activities on Skidaway Island. In addition to our dedicated Public Works Department collaborating with Utilities, Inc., TLA has established two committees to advocate for residents, with the goal of ensuring our community maintains adequate water resources and wastewater services at reasonable costs.

Water Rates Subcommittee

The Water Rates Subcommittee, an extension of the Finance Committee, is tasked with reviewing The Landings’ water and wastewater rates set by Utilities, Inc. of Georgia (UIG), to assess whether they are consistent with the TLA-UIG Settlement Agreement signed in 2003. This Agreement established rates from October 2003 to May 2005 and outlined the rate determination process for the Agreement’s 25-year term. As per the Agreement, UIG is authorized to adjust rates annually based on the following factors:

  • Recurring net increases or decreases in operations and maintenance expenses over year 2003 operations and maintenance expenses.
  • Capital expenditures made by UIG after 2003 for plant in service serving Skidaway Island residential customers.

The Water Rates Subcommittee convenes following the submission of UIG’s audited (currently Ernst & Young LLP Auditor) financials for the previous year. The subcommittee meticulously examines UIG’s financial records, scrutinizing calculations, operating expenses, maintenance costs, and capital expenditures. This review is compared to historical data and cost justified with inquiries sent to UIG for clarification when needed. Collaboration with UIG has proven fruitful in addressing queries.

Led by our Finance Director, Jessica Henderson, the committee’s diligence has demonstrated notable results. For instance, an error was uncovered in a calculation last year through additional backup information, leading to a reduction in UIG’s proposed rate from 5.33% to 4.02%, effective November 1, 2022. The subcommittee is currently reviewing UIG’s 2022 financials.

Strategic Water Committee

TLA’s Strategic Water Committee (SWC), chaired by Patty Morgan, comprises TLA Board members and community stakeholders. Established to take a forward-looking approach to water usage and wastewater disposal on the island, the committee aims to reduce water consumption and enhance wastewater management in an environmentally compatible manner. Key SWC goals encompass:

  • Comparing water capacity limits, permit requisites, technologies, and enhancement options with local municipalities and private utilities.
  • Monitoring island-wide development in collaboration with UIG to mitigate its impact on water resources and wastewater disposal. If necessary, the committee proactively encourages additional requirements to safeguard water supply and disposal.
  • Collaborating with UIG to promote water conservation through education, audits, and monitoring, including endorsing the EyeOnWater app/website for residents to monitor water use and detect leaks.
  • Implementing environmental monitoring initiatives, such as the Weather Station Program, Shallow-Well Monitoring Program, and Sea Level Sensor Program.
  • Introducing the Pilot Irrigation Smart Controller Program (details discussed below).

The committee’s composition includes Landings residents with pertinent expertise, UIG management, Landings Golf & Athletic Club Board members and Golf Course Maintenance management, and TLA Board members and Public Works management.

Alongside education-based endeavors to inform the community about water usage, the Strategic Water Committee, with the support of Skidaway Audubon, is implementing a Pilot Irrigation Smart Controller Program. In this program, the committee is actively assessing smart controller installations to identify the most effective configurations and equipment choices that can substantially reduce irrigation water consumption at The Landings. These smart controllers use available weather station data to help predict whether a watering event can be skipped. The objective in this pilot project is to evaluate whether more significant reductions in water usage can be realized using newer predictive weather station technology along with additional data. Through the pilot program, the project team is evaluating the impact of providing very localized and detailed weather data (hyper-local weather data) to drive the irrigation smart controllers to make irrigation decisions. If the testing in the pilot program is successful, water will be conserved, and landscaping assets will be protected by feeding them with enough water.

Committee members Tom Hamilton, Mark Wagner, Rick Cunningham, and Bob Hainly have invested significant time, effort, and expertise into the project. A smart controller and home-based weather station, generously funded by Skidaway Audubon, was installed at the end of the Islands of Deer Creek, in an area lacking weather stations. Using Wi-Fi data from the home-based weather station, the smart controller was able to integrate the hyper-local weather data into the smart controller that also collected regional weather data. This regional weather data was from the Weather Underground website ( since it allows sharing of home-based weather station data with smart controllers.

Preliminary results from the pilot program indicate the added hyper-local weather data allows the smart controller to more effectively control the irrigation system, resulting in a significant decrease in water usage for irrigation. For a house without a well, this can be a significant savings in cost on the homeowner’s water bill.

As a result of this initial success, a second pilot weather station, also funded by Skidaway Audubon, was installed on another property in the Deer Creek area where the homeowner installed a smart controller. Preliminary results from this installation indicate substantial savings, and this has led to close neighbors planning to install smart controllers to take advantage of the hyper-local weather data available from the newly installed local weather station.

Building upon anticipated continued successes of the pilot program, the committee envisions Skidaway Audubon and the Strategic Water Committee will develop and execute a plan to launch an island-wide campaign, including specific details, to encourage further installations of smart controllers and/or home-based weather stations, ultimately leading to substantial reduction in irrigation water usage on our island. Your engagement and participation in these endeavors are greatly appreciated.

One more thing: If you are not already using the EyeOnWater app/website to monitor your own water usage, I encourage you to sign up at or download the smartphone app.

Thank you,



Typical Irrigation Smart Control Setup


This article was originally published by The Landings Association on their website.

Visit to read the original article.