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City of Austin’s Onsite Water Reuse Demonstration Project receives the Texas Water Development Board’s Texas Rain Catcher Award

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

AUSTIN – (October 5, 2023) – 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 City of Austin’s OSCAR & CLARA Onsite Water Reuse Demonstration Project was recognized in the governmental 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 City of Austin’s new, 260,000-square foot Permitting & Development Center has an onsite collection and reuse (OSCAR) system where an underground 40,000-gallon collection and reuse system captures rainwater and air conditioning condensate and uses it for landscape irrigation and a water feature. The closed-loop advanced reclaimed assembly (CLARA) system can treat up to 5,000 gallons of wastewater per day onsite to be reused for toilet and urinal flushing.

Utilizing the two systems together allows for more effective and efficient onsite water management that also helps extend the city’s core water supplies. OSCAR and CLARA are expected to save the city nearly 1.5 million gallons of drinking water annually and reduce the site’s potable water use by 75 percent.

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 City of Austin is one of five awardees being recognized statewide this year.

To learn more about previous Texas Rain Catcher Award winners, visit the TWDB website.

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 mitigation, and agricultural water conservation projects.