Rainwater harvesting class set April 20 in San Benito

Experts: Drought a good time to talk conservation

SAN BENITO—The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas Water Resources Institute are hosting a rainwater harvesting class April 20 in San Benito.

The class will be 9 a.m. to noon at the AgriLife Extension office for Cameron County, 1390 W. Expressway 83.

A workshop on the installation and maintenance of rain barrels will be held April 20 in San Benito. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

A workshop on the installation and maintenance of rain barrels will be held April 20 in San Benito. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

Lilian Mezquida, AgriLife Extension agent for Cameron County, will speak on in-home water conservation, and John Smith, associate professor and AgriLife Extension specialist at College Station, will present information on outside water conservation and using rain barrels.

“Rainwater harvesting is a great way to manage rainwater that would otherwise leave your property,” said Ashley Gregory, AgriLife Extension assistant for water programs who works for the institute through the Arroyo Colorado Watershed Partnership. “You can collect and store that water for later use in irrigation, livestock watering, toilet flushing and several other uses.”

Because South Texas is currently in the grip of a lengthy drought, it’s a good time to promote rainwater harvesting and conservation, she said.

“This is important because of the serious drought that we are experiencing,” Gregory said. “We need to take advantage while people are listening, and stress that water conservation is something we need to practice always, not only in times of drought. Although we don’t have rain now, we want people to be prepared to conserve when it does come.”

Participants will learn how to plan for and install a basic rainwater harvesting system using a rain barrel, several of which will be raffled at the event, she said.

“People who attend this no-cost workshop will learn how to install, maintain and use a rainwater barrel to supplement their home lawn and garden irrigation. They will also learn how to identify kitchen and bathroom leaks and how to use inexpensive tools to reduce water use, such as faucet aerators, toilet tank bags and low-flow shower heads.”

To preregister for the class, contact the AgriLife Extension office for Cameron County at cameron-tx@tamu.edu or call 956-361-8236.

For more information, contact Jennifer Herrera, AgriLife Extension horticulture agent in Cameron County at jherrera@ag.tamu.edu or 956-361-8236.

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