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Great to See Texas Leading the Way Again

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Texas known for being the rebirth center of the modern rainwater harvesting movement over 20 years ago, is once again pushing the water conservation standard forward again.  Although, not normally known for being environmentally friendly two recent news items out of the Lone Star State give us hope.

San Macros, TX recently changed their rain harvesting codes to simplify the process, but also approved a rebate for rainwater  catchment systems in a very meaningful way.  Residential rebate are now up to $5,000 with rebates up to $20,000 for commercial systems. These rebates are for up to 50% of the installed system cost, not just a rebate on the cost of a tank.  This is an industry leading rebate and coupled with the change of code should have substantial impact on the number of systems installed and the amount of potable water saved for years to come.


And just down the way from San Macros, San Antonio is also pushing the envelope. They have significantly reduced water use over the past 30 years.  Dropping water use from nearly 225 gallons per capita per day in the 1990s to 127 gallons in 2013, a 45 percent decline!  This decline of use was mainly driven by new codes requiring low-flow toilets, faucets and appliances, but also very stringent outside watering restrictions - currently watering is allowed only once a week - enforced by off-duty police officers awarding stiff tickets.

San Antonio already leads the nation in reuse of treated wastewater, circulating it through purple pipes to industries, commercial lawns, and golf courses. But in January, the city took reuse to another level, applying for a state permit that would allow it to retain ownership of 50,000 acre-feet of treated wastewater all the way down the Guadalupe River to San Antonio Bay, in effect delivering it to the blue crabs and whooping cranes


It is great to see this leadership once again coming out of Texas.  Drought does create interesting times and as these two cities in Texas prove that being green is good for the environment, good for business and good for Texas - others are sure to follow.

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