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FirstBank Southwest Amarillo receives the Texas Water Development Board's Texas Rain Catcher Award

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

AUSTIN  (March 28, 2019)  The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) announced today the recipients of its annual Texas Rain Catcher Award, a rainwater harvesting competition and recognition program. FirstBank Southwest Amarillo was recognized in the commercial/industrial 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.

During construction of the FirstBank Southwest Amarillo banking center in 2012, bank officials and landscape architects agreed they could do more to conserve water beyond xeriscaping. As part of the site development, a rainwater collection system was designed by Turner LandArchitecture.

Rather than collecting rainwater from the roof and storing it in a tank, the bank decided to make the parking lot the collection system. Rainfall is directed from the roof by downspouts to the parking lot, which consists of permeable pavers. Once below the pavers, water flows through gravel backfill into 530 linear feet of perforated pipe. The pipe conveys the water into an underground tank.

The paver system base can hold up to 12,000 gallons of harvested rainwater, and the underground tank can store an additional 14,600 gallons of rainwater. Combined, the system can hold approximately 26,600 gallons of harvested rainwater. This amount is equivalent to 99.6 percent of the rainfall collected from a two-year storm event.

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. FirstBank Southwest Amarillo is one of four 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.