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The Alvarez residence receives TWDB's Texas Rain Catcher Award

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

AUSTIN  (March 21, 2016)  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 Alvarez residence was recognized in the residential category.

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.

Located in San Antonio, the Alvarez residence uses an innovative approach to store rainwater. When construction of the residence started, the driveway leading to the garage at the house was four feet below the level of the garage and had to be raised to garage level using hundreds of tons of fill. Aquabank Incorporated created 18,000 gallons of storage space for rainwater in the fill material in the driveway.

Aquabank lined the driveway with an impervious membrane, used washed structural gravel to fill the driveway, and capped and brought it to grade with the garage using concrete. The void spaces between the gravel provide storage space for rainwater, much like a natural gravel aquifer. Rainwater flowing off the roof of the house, the driveway, and the patio is collected in the gravel fill under the driveway. It is then pumped into a drip irrigation system to water plants when needed.

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 Alvarez residence 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.