Mr. Bob Durham & the Natural Resources Conservation Service


  • Category: Agriculture
  • Organization Location: Hale County, Texas
  • Activity: Harvest rain off barn roofs to water livestock and reduce pumping from the Ogallala Aquifer.


Mr. Durham and the NRCS had previously worked together up in Hale County on projects such as implementing cross fencing and rotational grazing practices for his shorthorns. When he asked about capturing rainwater off his barns to water his cattle, Greg Sokora, civil engineer with NRCS, sprang into action and designed a gravity flow system that can water 25 head for a month with just a two-inch rainfall. “The rainfall harvesting system provides farmers or ranchers like Durham an option to make better use of rainfall by capturing runoff and storing for future use,” Sokora said.

Mr. Durham’s system conserves groundwater from the Ogallala Aquifer and saves him money by reducing pumping costs. It will also slow runoff induced erosion from around his barns. This project was featured in the December 2015 issue of Drovers Cattle Network, the nation’s oldest livestock publication, bringing awareness of water conservation and rainwater harvesting to a very large audience. This is the first system to be recognized with a Texas Rain Catcher Award in the agriculture category.

Other 2015 winners: