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Reilly Elementary School receives the Texas Water Development Board’s Texas Rain Catcher Award

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

AUSTIN – (October 5, 2022) – The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) announced today the recipients of its annual Texas Rain Catcher Award, a rainwater harvesting competition and recognition program. Reilly Elementary School in Austin, Texas was recognized in the educational 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 critical water-saving practice.

The Reilly Elementary School project uses passively draining cisterns designed to capture and store rainwater, allowing it to infiltrate into the ground instead of flowing directly into streams, which contributed to poor water quality, erosion, and minor flooding. Some system components are plumbed to watering spigots and a chicken coop watering bowl with the option to use outputs for additional needs. The project demonstrates to students and the public how rainwater harvesting and rain gardens can be used as a water source to beautify the landscape, reduce common erosion problems, and provide continued learning opportunities.

The project uses 12 cisterns of various sizes and materials, along with five rain gardens, to capture rainwater from 76,627 square feet of rooftops and parking lots. The system reduces runoff from the site by an estimated 621,785 gallons per year, with much of it infiltrating back into the ground.

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. Reilly Elementary School 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 water and flood planning, and preparing the state water and flood plans. The TWDB administers cost-effective financial assistance programs for the construction of water supply, wastewater treatment, flood control, and agricultural water conservation projects.