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Water Conservation and Rainwater Harvesting

Save Our Precious Hill Country Resources

When I need to get information about the state of Kendall County’s conservation efforts of our precious natural resources, my go-to expert is Milan Michalec, representing Precinct 2 and President of the Board of Directors for the Cow Creek Groundwater Conservation District. I’ve included his information on Rainwater Harvesting and Water Conservation for Hill Country residents. Kendall County is part of a Priority Groundwater Management Area due to, in part, water quality and levels may decline in wells and creeks and springs may dry up in the nearer future.

That is why water conservation is so important and a top priority for home usage. Some of the changes will be behavioral and some retrofitting of current parts is necessary. Install water efficient shower heads and faucet aerators. Test toilets for leaks and install high efficiency ones. Insulate hot water pipes. Use greywater for laundry. Run the dishwasher only when full; dry scrape dishes; compost instead of using the garbage disposal; use a full sink for rinsing versus running water. Use cold water for all washer full loads.

Be mindful that outdoor pools, landscaping and fountains use huge amounts of water. Don’t overwater yards; prevent evaporation by watering in the morning and evening; keep pools and spas covered; use landscaping mulch.

We harvest rainwater because our supply is fragile, finite, rainfall is unpredictable and the population is increasing daily. Harvesting rainwater assists in becoming water self-sufficient, it saves money, is simple and flexible as well as safe and affordable and rainwater quality is excellent. Additional benefits include the backup water supply and tax incentives.

We all need to be more water-conscious. Cisterns, tanks and rain barrels all provide easy storage of rainwater – cisterns and tanks being the most effective. Ceramic urns are attractive but likely to crack in winter weather. We need to consider our water use, money and space, HOA considerations and storage capacity.

“When you look to the sky for your water supply, what you can capture is limited only by your imagination.” - Milan J. Michalec

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