Texas Water Development Board presents 2011 Texas Rain Catcher Award to Stroman Middle School

For immediate release.  Contact: Kimberly Leggett at 512-463-5129

AUSTIN - (March 1, 2012) - The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) today presented the 2011 Texas Rain Catcher Award to Stroman Middle School in Victoria for their remarkable efforts at conserving water through rainwater harvesting. They were one of two winners in the educational category of the annual competition.

Stroman Middle School is an advanced learning center for middle school students in Victoria. When the school opened in 2010, the campus was a mess, overrun with garbage and weeds. With the aid of Ms. Holly McCutcheon, a teacher at the school, 8th graders took on the challenge of cleaning up the campus. They got approval to install a Xeriscape™ garden and a rainwater harvesting system, and with the help of and funding from the City of Victoria Environmental Services Department, the community, the Victoria County Groundwater Conservation District, and other organizations, they started work on the project.

The 14 students involved attended presentations and educated themselves about gardening and rainwater harvesting. They worked after school and on weekends to clean the garden and build the rainwater harvesting system. The system, which consists of four 55-gallon barrels mounted under a 10-foot by 10-foot corrugated metal roof, is expected to collect 2,492 gallons of water annually. The rainwater harvesting system is now used as an outdoor classroom and field trip opportunity for elementary school students and has generated so much interest in the community that two other schools are planning to install their own this year.

Other winners of the 2011 Texas Rain Catcher Award are the Native American Seed Company in Junction (commercial/industrial category); Denton County in Denton (government category); Hacienda Maria in Junction (residential category) and the Hays Consolidated Independent School District in Kyle (educational category).

On July 16, 2007, the TWDB authorized the Executive Administrator to establish and implement the Texas Rain Catcher Award competition and recognition program. The program was established as an additional means of promoting rainwater harvesting in the state, educating the public on the benefits and advantages of rainwater harvesting, and recognizing individuals and entities dedicated to the cause of managing this precious natural resource.

Since the start of the program, the TWDB has recognized 18 individuals or entities. The winners have demonstrated exceptional efforts at conserving water through rainwater harvesting and educating the public about this important conservation measure.

For more information about the winners, as well as more information on rainwater harvesting, please visit the Innovative Water Technologies.

The TWDB is the state agency charged with collecting and disseminating water-related data, assisting with regional planning and preparing the state water plan for the development of the state’s water resources. The TWDB administers cost-effective financial assistance programs for the construction of water supply, wastewater treatment, flood control, and agricultural water conservation projects.