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Las Pampas receives the Texas Water Development Board's Texas Rain Catcher Award

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

AUSTIN – (March 21, 2018) – The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) announced today the recipients of its annual Texas Rain Catcher Award, a rainwater harvesting competition and recognition program. Las Pampas was recognized in the residential - community 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.

Residents of the colonia of Las Pampas rely on water hauled to their community by truck. In an effort to reduce the need for hauling, Las Pampas partnered with the University of Texas at El Paso's (UTEP) Center for Environmental Resource Management and Coca-Cola Bottling of El Paso to construct a rainwater harvesting demonstration project at two residences. The United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture provided partial funding of supplies through a grant to UTEP, and volunteers from UTEP's Engineers for a Sustainable World student organization provided labor for the project. Coca-Cola donated twenty-seven 275-gallon tanks.

The total installed storage capacity using eight tanks is 2,200 gallons. The rainwater is used for gardening, landscaping, and watering small livestock. For the residents, the amount of hauled water has been cut by half, saving each demonstration household $15 to $20 per month, a significant amount in this community. The project has been successful in building interest among other residents in installing their own domestic systems, some of which will be able to use the remaining tanks donated by Coca-Cola. The student group and faculty advisors from UTEP hope to continue with demonstration projects in other colonias in the area to spread awareness of the benefits of rainwater harvesting.

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. Las Pampas 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.