Willow City Volunteer Fire and Rescue, Inc.


  • Category: Voluntary
  • Project Lead: Janet Rabke, President
  • System Location: 2553 Ranch Road 1323, Willow City, TX 78675 and 16710 Ranch Road 965 Fredericksburg, TX 78624
  • Capacity: 80,000 gallons at Willow City and 10,000 gallons at the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
  • Water Use: Primarily firefighting with occasional potable use

Background and Systems:

Since 1967, the 33-member fire department has been responsible for fire protection and first responder medical and rescue services in northeast Gillespie County. When the fire station was expanded in 2008, the department decided to use harvested rainwater as a water supply. In years past they had used water from stock ponds, creeks, and even a well, but these sources had either dried up or had become unreliable because of the drought. Eight 10,000-gallon cisterns collect water from the roof of the fire station. Currently, the system has a capacity of 80,000 gallons. For reference, the current capacity of the system is more than the 65,000 gallons of water that the department used in 2007 for the 2,000-acre Willow City wildfire.

The fire department also has a smaller system at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area that they installed in partnership with Texas Parks and Wildlife and Friends of Enchanted Rock. All the rainwater harvesting projects have been financially supported by the Lower Colorado River Authority, and designed and built by volunteer members. The department is now planning a new system at the historic schoolhouse located near the fire station.

Other 2012 winners: