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First state rainwater conference slated for March 20, 21 in Kerrville

Texas

A Texas AgriLife Extension Service rainwater harvesting expert said the Texas Rainwater Catchment Association will hold its first statewide conference Mar. 20 and 21 in Kerrville at the Kerr County Hill Country Youth Exhibit Center.

Billy Kniffen, AgriLife Extension water resources specialist at Menard, said the association was formed just over a year ago. The association will use the conference to further its mission of focusing on green-building construction and rainwater application on both commercial and homeowner scales.

"We'll also be looking at current legislative activity as it relates to rainwater harvesting as well as the Texas Water Development Board and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality perspectives," Kniffen said.

March 20 activities last from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., and are followed by an optional tour of several rainwater catchment projects in the Boerne area (no transportation provided). One of the stops will be Boerne's new Champion High School, which Kniffen said can capture over 4 million gallons of rainwater per year.

The March 21 program will concentrate on the actual construction of a number of collection systems ranging from a simple rain barrel to rain garden, bog garden, a collection system for wildlife or livestock, a bird bath, drip irrigation system and an in-home system. These demonstrations will begin at 9 a.m.

A trade show featuring a number of commercial exhibits and suppliers of rainwater collection equipment will be a major part of the two-day event.

Kniffen also said a "Professional's Accreditation Workshop" is scheduled for March 18 and 19 at the same location. For more information specific to that training go to www.arcsa.org.

Individual fees for the State Rainwater Conference are as follows: March 20 fee is $50 with an additional $10 added for those going on the Boerne tour. The March 21 fee is $5. Both days are free for children under 16 years old. Find registration information at: www.texrca.org.

For more information contact Kniffen at 325-396-4787 or 325-456-5772, b-kniffen@tamu.edu.



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