San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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September 14th, 2011
Planning for the rains to come (eventually)


“Whiskey’s for drinking, water’s for fighting,” is a western saying usually attributed to Mark Twain.

We’ll get past this drought, but you can start planning now for ways to conserve water when the rains return. You may learn about water reuse and gray water at the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) website here. Gray water is water that normally would go down the drain after a shower or laundry load, but methods now exist to reroute it for outdoor uses.

Rainwater harvesting is big these days. Opportunities to learn all about it are scheduled throughout the Hill Country in the months ahead.

An interesting note about rainwater from the Rainwater Revival Web site states that just one inch of rain harvested from 1,000 square feet of roof can yield 625 gallons of water.

The Second Annual Rainwater Revival takes place Saturday, October 8, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., at Roger Hanks Park on Highway 290 West in Dripping Springs. Last year more than 1,000 people learned about rainwater harvesting and conservation.

Those attending will hear from homeowners who live totally on collected rainwater, and information will be useful to homeowners, business owners and ranch mangers.

State Rep. Doug Miller and representatives from state agencies will provide updates on what state and local governments are doing to support and encourage rainwater capture.

It’s a day of family fun with vendor booths, exhibits, food and music. For complete details, visit
The following Saturday, October 15, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., the Cibolo Nature Center in Boerne is hosting a rainwater harvest workshop. Boerne resident John Kight, a professional engineer, will provide the latest technological information and practical advice.
Kight, a member of the Cow Creek Groundwater Conservation District, built his own home with no well or outside water source. Attendees will visit his home to see how a system can work to provide all household and landscaping needs. Kight also will speak at the Dripping Springs event.

In the meantime, the TWDB has brochures available to help you conserve water inside and outside your home. I’ve listed some of their common-sense suggestions below.

· Install water-efficient toilets.

· Don’t let the water run while brushing your teeth or shampooing.

· Take shorter showers instead of baths. A five-minute shower uses only 10-15 gallons of water. A full bathtub can use up to 70 gallons of water.

Texans must work together to ensure we have enough water to last until the rains come.

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