May 6, 2014

The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) announced today that Bandera High School is among the winners of its annual Texas Rain Catcher Award, a rainwater harvesting competition and recognition program. The award recognizes excellence in the application of rainwater harvesting systems in Texas, promotes the technology, and educates the public.

Between 2011 and 2013, students in the Building Trades, Drafting, and Agricultural Mechanics class at Bandera High School built two 42,000-gallon concrete tanks to capture water running off the 60,000 square-foot faculty parking lot at the school to irrigate the onsite baseball field. They also built a pump house and installed the piping to connect the concrete tanks to the existing sprinkler system at the field.

“Innovative projects, such as those completed by Bandera High School, can serve as models for other schools” said TWDB Board member Bech Bruun. “Programs that push students to be forward thinkers on technology and conservation will ultimately benefit the state. These students are the future of Texas.”

These projects were funded by grants from the Hal and Charlie Peterson Foundation, the Lower Colorado River Authority Community Development Partnership Program, and the Bandera Independent School District’s Education Foundation. Contributions were also made by local businesses. The students provided all the labor during class time.

The system has been in operation since May 2012 and is able to capture and use about 240,000 gallons of water in one year. This is about 27 percent of the school’s annual usage.

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 both within the rainwater harvesting community and beyond and establishes their reputations as those dedicated to water conservation in Texas. Bandera High School is one of four award recipients being recognized statewide by TWDB.

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 programs for the construction of water supply, wastewater treatment, flood control, and agricultural water conservation projects.