Billy Kniffen


  • Category: Honorary
  • Hometown: Menard, TX 76859

Billy's contribution to rainwater harvesting:

Billy is the face of rainwater harvesting in Texas. Not only is he a household name in the rainwater harvesting community in Texas but everywhere that it is being practiced in the US. He has traveled the length and breadth of Texas, visited many other states, and even some countries, tirelessly and enthusiastically spreading the word about rainwater harvesting.

A recipient of Texas A&M's Regents Fellow Service Award for exemplary contribution to society and the Vice Chancellor's award for excellence, Billy officially retired from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in 2011. After serving for nearly 30 years with the agency, Billy spent the latter part of his career almost exclusively in rainwater harvesting activities around the state. Presently, Billy spends time developing curriculum, teaching, and conducting training workshops for the American Rainwater Harvesting Systems Association, in which he serves as Vice President and Education Director.

TWDB's Rain Team members have worked closely with Billy over the past several years. Many of the team members received two full days of training from Billy in 2009 and also hands-on training in 2011 on a full-scale rainwater harvesting system that some members helped install-in a voluntary capacity-for a non-profit organization in Austin, Texas.

Billy practices what he preaches. He and his wife Mary live entirely on harvested rainwater in their Menard home. They use about 70 gallons of water per day, indoors and outdoors, and Billy observed that they had enough water in their tanks to easily get through the 2011-2012 drought.

Other 2012 winners: