Our Water: rainwater conservation awards highlight experimental home in Junction


Data could lead to new conservation practices used in daily life

JUNCTION, Texas – The Texas Water Development Board announced the 2020 winners of the Rain Catcher Awards. The awards serve to recognize innovative effort in the catching, using, and conserving of rain water. Among the 2020 winners are several residential and agricultural entries, as well as urban endeavors like the Austin Central Library. One winner though, is right here in the Concho Valley, in Junction

“So the project is called HUMS, which stands for the home utility management system,” explained project lead Dr. Brian Ancell an Assistant Professor of Atmospheric Science at Texas Tech University. “The kind of overarching goal of the project is essentially to remove the significant vulnerabilities we have with regard to our current water supply and power supply for that matter. The test home is out there at the field station right now in Junction. [It] is completely outfitted in terms of the water side.”

The project, run by Texas Tech University, includes solar and wind energy, as well as the water systems.

“I think these projects really do a great job of illustrating that growth,” said Kevin Kluge, Director of Conservation and Innovative Water Technologies at the Texas Water Development Board. “New buildings whether they’re downtown or they’re out in rural limestone county, new buildings and homes and businesses can be constructed, [and] can take place without the corresponding increase in the demand on our water supply or our water systems.”

Data from the home and from test subjects living there soon will help develop sustainability solutions and test public acceptance of such systems.

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