I was honored to moderate a homeowner's panel at the 2016 Rainwater Revival yesterday in Dripping Springs, Texas. Although the bride and I consider ourselves urban rainwater radicals (we use rainwater for all of our outdoor water needs), the homeowners on the panel are the true radicals in that they meet all of their water needs, including indoor needs, through rainwater harvesting.
The panelists were articulate, funny, informative, and stayed within time constraints (honestly the best panel I've ever moderated [and I've moderated many]). And there was plenty of time for questions at the end! Some interesting tidbits: one homeowner had a pool, one had an outdoor shower, and another was a master gardener (she was fascinated with our wicking gardens), showing that you don't have to give up little (or big) luxuries when you live on rainwater. And becoming a rainwater radical turns you into a water conservation radical since the two are intimately related. Another homeowner inherited a rainwater system when they bought their house, which was a great perspective of the inevitable hand-off of a system from one homeowner to another. The discussions also provided further support to my rule of thumb of 10,000 gallons of storage per person for a full system for the Central Texas area.
Central Texas is ground zero for rainwater harvesting in the United States. The American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association was formed here (by an at-the-time work colleague, Hari Krishna), and many domestic manufacturers are sourced from the area (although manufacturing is beginning to spread to difference parts of Texas). The Revival sported some manufacturers. One theme was how to collect rainwater from the top of your rainwater tank.
The drive out and back from Dripping Springs (about 45 minutes one way) gave me time to think about writing a paper/article on the firm yield of rainwater harvesting, something that's been a touchy subject lately among rainwater proponents.
And as a bonus: It rained yesterday as well!
Stainless steel tanks from a Houston manufacturer.