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City of Austin-s Twin Oaks Library receives TWDB-s Texas Rain Catcher Award

For immediate release. Contact: Media Relations at 512-463-5129

AUSTIN – (May 6, 2015) – The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) announced today the recipients of its annual Texas Rain Catcher Award, a rainwater harvesting competition and recognition program. The City of Austin's Twin Oaks Library was recognized in the Community category for its innovative efforts to improve the library's existing rainwater harvesting system.

The TWDB's Texas Rain Catcher Award recognizes excellence in the application of rainwater harvesting systems in Texas, promotes rainwater harvesting technology, and educates the public on this important water-saving practice.

The City of Austin, in collaboration with the Water Environment Research Foundation and Geosyntec Consultants, installed an internet-enabled, real-time controller on the 5,000-gallon rainwater harvesting system at the Twin Oaks Library. The real-time controller was part of a pilot study to demonstrate this technology as an innovative and improved approach for rainwater harvesting management.

The real-time controller detects when the cisterns are less than half full and then automatically reduces the volume of water used for the on-site landscape irrigation system. The controller also integrates weather forecasts and automatically drains its cisterns when the chance of a storm exceeds 60 percent, thereby increasing the storage capacity for collecting stormwater runoff. The drained water is directed to the landscape irrigation system and rain garden. The system at the Twin Oaks Library demonstrates how internet-enabled, real-time control technology is a cost-effective measure for water conservation and stormwater management.

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 in the rainwater harvesting community and beyond and establishes award recipients as dedicated water conservation leaders in Texas. The Twin Oaks Library is one of five awardees being recognized statewide this year.

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.