Amarillo bank, Lubbock manufacturer receive state recognition for water conservation efforts

FirstBank Southwest of Amarillo and Samuel Jackson, Inc. of Lubbock recently received state recognition for their water conservation efforts.
 

FirstBank Southwest - Texas Rain Catcher Award

FirstBank Southwest Chairman of the Board Smith Ellis and Chief Lending Officer Will Miller accept the 2018 Texas Rain Catcher Award during the March 28 Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) meeting in Austin. Shown with them (L-R) are TWDB Chairman Peter Lake, Member Brooke Paup, and Member Kathleen Jackson.  (Photo courtesy TWDB)

FirstBank Southwest Chairman of the Board Smith Ellis and Chief Lending Officer Will Miller accept the 2018 Texas Rain Catcher Award during the March 28 Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) meeting in Austin. Shown with them (L-R) are TWDB Chairman Peter Lake, Member Brooke Paup, and Member Kathleen Jackson.  (Photo courtesy TWDB)

FirstBank Southwest received the 2018 Texas Rain Catcher Award at the March 28 Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) meeting in Austin.
 
Built in 2012, the FirstBank Southwest (FBSW) Western Banking Center is home to one of Amarillo’s larger commercial rainwater harvesting installations.
 
During a rainfall event, several downspouts channel water from the building’s metal roof to a permeable paver parking lot. Once below the pavers, the water makes its way into an underground tank.
 
The permeable pavers and underground tank provide a storage capacity of 26,600 gallons of harvested rainwater. That is the equivalent of 99.6 percent of the rainfall collected during a two-year storm event.
 
The FBSW banking center also uses a xeric landscape and drip irrigation system to help reduce landscape water use.
 
Created in 2007, the TWDB’s Rain Catcher award program “promotes technology, educates the public, and recognizes excellence in the application of rainwater harvesting systems in Texas.”
 

Samuel Jackson, Inc. - Blue Legacy Award in Manufacturing

Dr. Bogdan Jackson-Duda with Samuel Jackson, Inc. accepts the Blue Legacy in Manufacturing Award from Water Conservation Advisory Council Chair Karen Guz (L) and Texas Water Development Board Member Kathleen Jackson (R). (Photo courtesy TWDB)

Dr. Bogdan Jackson-Duda with Samuel Jackson, Inc. accepts the Blue Legacy in Manufacturing Award from Water Conservation Advisory Council Chair Karen Guz (L) and Texas Water Development Board Member Kathleen Jackson (R). (Photo courtesy TWDB)

Samuel Jackson, Inc. received the 2019 Blue Legacy Award for Manufacturing during ceremonies at the March 13 Texas Water Day at the Capitol in Austin.
 
Samuel Jackson, Inc. uses harvested rainwater as an alternative water supply source. The company manufactures moisture control and drying equipment for cotton gins.
 
As much as 90,000 gallons of rainwater can be stored in tanks at their facility. Plant operations can be sustained on as little as six inches of rainfall per year.

The rainwater harvesting tanks are carefully monitored to determine water use trends. As a result, water use has been reduced by 30 percent.
 
The filtered rainwater is excellent quality and offers many benefits during the manufacturing process.
 
Rainwater harvesting reduces dependence upon groundwater. It also allows for greater water use efficiency and sustainability.
 
The Water Conservation Advisory Council gives this annual award to “recognize manufacturing water users that have demonstrated outstanding and innovating commitment to the state’s mission of promoting responsible management and conservation of Texas’ water resources.”

Apply now for Texas 4-H Water Ambassadors program

Students within the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District (HPWD) service area are encouraged to submit applications for the 2018-2019 Texas 4-H Water Ambassadors program.  Deadline for submissions is May 20.
 
Each year, high school age youth are selected to join the program which provides knowledge about management of water resources in Texas.
 
“HPWD is proud to be among the supporters of the Texas 4-H Water Ambassadors program.  This is a great opportunity to mentor future water leaders for our state,” said Carmon McCain, HPWD Information/Education Supervisor.  HPWD provided grant funding for the program, which began in 2017.
 
Those chosen will participate in a summer 4-H2O Youth Leadership Academy.  This tour, set for July, allows students to meet with statewide water professionals and observe conservation practices.  The group will visit the HPWD office in Lubbock during their tour of the Panhandle-South Plains region.  In addition, the students will view rainwater harvesting installations at Samuel Jackson, Inc. in Lubbock and Bob Durham's ranch at Abernathy.
 
A leadership, mentorship, and community service component is included as part of the program. Texas 4-H Water Ambassadors commit to a minimum of 40 hours of service during a 12-month period. This is earned by presenting water education programs to local 4-H clubs, schools, fairs, and other community events.  In addition, the students may also assist their local water utilities, groundwater conservation districts, and County Extension Agents in their water outreach programs.
 
Applicants must be 14 years old as of Aug. 31, 2018 and must be entering the 9th, 10th, or 11th grade in the upcoming 2018-2019 academic year. A short essay and letters of reference are required.
 
There is a $250 participation fee due by June 20. Applicants do not have to be a current member of Texas 4-H, but must agree to become a 4-H member and pay a $25 annual membership fee, if selected.
 
Visit https://texas4-h.tamu.edu/projects/water/ for applications and other program information.  Questions should be directed to David W. Smith at (979) 862-1989. He may also be reached by email at davidsmith@tamu.edu