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Hill Country landowner relies on rainwater ingenuity to counter drought effects Posted on May 09, 2023



Shae Luther – Water Education Specialist, Texas Water Development Board

The Texas Rain Catcher Awards is a competition program that was set up to recognize individuals and projects that were utilizing rainwater harvesting. And it's a way for the Texas Water Development Board to share existing technologies that are being utilized and a way for us to inform the public on rainwater harvesting issues. Raven Canyon won the Texas Rain Catcher Award because they're unique in that they're able to manage the area of the canyon they're in through rainwater harvesting.

And this, along with earthworks and terracing, has been able to provide habitat restoration, better absorption and infiltration of the water in the area, and has allowed them to provide a more constant water supply year-round to their orchards and gardens.

Bill Nash – Raven Canyon LLC, 2022 Texas Rain Catcher Award Recipient 

It can be intimidating to a lot of people in some regards because of the elevation drop of 250 feet. But everyone is drawn to the canyon. We're learning the land; we're learning how the water moves over it; we're learning how to capture that water or what the needs of the habitat around here are. And there's a variety of different habitats.

There's a lower canyon, and there's this upper canyon that catches a lot of sun and water. And this is an example of what you can do in soil conservation and water absorption and utilization. We're capturing water in every possible means imaginable, but hopefully inventive and imaginary and creatively. But it's got to be also practical. We've got to maintain it.

I think the garage was the first one. I have two huge, two 1,500-gallon tanks. One of them is a collector tank, and the other one is a clean tank. So, I collect in one and transfer it through a filtering system into the clean tank. The advantage of the tank inside is that it's not exposed to the weather, and it keeps your garage warm because you have a huge body of water that's warm.

So in the winter, it stays warm longer. With my wife's property, she ended up acquiring a property in ‘96, I think. And it's an old CCC cabin, Civilian Conservation Corps. We have three tanks there. And it provides her domestic needs for what we use down there. Occasionally, we'll use it for watering, you know, plants and stuff, but primarily it's domestic.

We have a section of roof, and it goes in a trough, and then I have a water can. It’s a very fundamental arrangement. It doesn't get treated; it isn't pressurized. I just dip it out and water where it is conveniently located. The first task or responsibility is to capture the water in a vessel. Then, after that, you have treatment and distribution.

You need to get as big a tank as you possibly can because a big rain will come along, and you're going to have—not remorse about the tank or the system—you're going to have remorse that it filled up so quick and now it's just pouring out on the ground. We're going to capture the water, we're going to hold the water, and then we're going to redistribute it when it's dry.


This article is posted in Drought / Conservation / Rainwater Harvesting .