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Texas Department of Transportation 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 Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) was recognized in the Government category for its efforts to educate the public about the importance of rainwater harvesting and water conservation in Texas.

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 the importance of this water-saving practice.

TxDOT designed two identical rainwater systems at both the northbound and southbound Hill County Safety Rest Areas on Interstate 35 near Hillsboro, where more than 60,000 vehicles pass by each day. In addition to providing supplemental water for landscape irrigation, these systems educate the public on rainwater harvesting and water conservation.

The entrance to each building features a large metal funnel that catches rainwater from the rooftops and then routes it to a 20,000-gallon underground storage tank. The stored rainwater is then pumped to irrigate landscaped areas in the building's front entrance plaza. A sign located in the plaza explains the facility's water conservation efforts and highlights the importance of native grasses and wildflowers. All visitors are encouraged to conserve water and to consider harvesting rainwater wherever they live.

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. TxDOT 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.