Willow City Volunteer Fire and Rescue among TWDB's Texas Rain Catcher Award Winners

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

Austin (February 28, 2013) - The Texas Water Development Board today announced that Willow City Volunteer Fire and Rescue is among the winners of its annual Texas Rain Catcher Award, a rainwater harvesting competition and recognition program. The award recognizes excellence in the application of rainwater harvesting systems in Texas, promotes the technology, and educates the public.

Since 1967, Willow City Volunteer Fire and Rescue has been responsible for fire protection and first responder medical and rescue services for a 268-square mile area in northeast Gillespie County. When the fire station was expanded in 2008, the department pursued harvested rain water as a water supply. Initially, two 10,000-gallon tanks were installed. Subsequently, six more tanks were added to provide a total capacity of 80,000 gallons of water. The water is mainly used for fire protection but is also being used for potable purposes and community disaster emergency use.

In 2012, the department partnered with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Friends of Enchanted Rock to install a separate 10,000-gallon tank and roof collection system at the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area pavilion. This system provides fire protection for the park and other area properties. Grants from the Lower Colorado River Authority supported the rainwater harvesting projects, and volunteer members designed and installed the systems. A new system is now being planned at the historic schoolhouse located near the fire station.

The Texas Rain Catcher Award competition began in 2007 and is open to all individuals, companies, organizations, municipalities, and other local and state governmental entities in Texas. It recognizes entities and individuals both within the rainwater harvesting community and beyond and establishes their reputations as those dedicated to water conservation in Texas. Awards are made in several categories.

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.