Lifestyle

One Texas Water: Conserving Rainwater One Storm at a Time

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Photos courtesy of One Texas Water except where otherwise noted.

“Water is life,” says Ben Pedraza, co-owner of One Texas Water, a rainwater catchment company. To say it’s a precious resource is to underestimate its value. It’s a priceless resource, but a resource that lasts forever if managed correctly. Ben Pedraza wants to teach others how to harvest rainwater, one rain storm at a time.

Pedraza’s yard in a San Antonio suburb looks like a wedge of the Garden of Eden. His fruit trees, herbs, and vegetable garden are so prolific that neighbors are welcome to shop his yard for fresh produce. “I could never use it all,” Pedraza says.

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He first became interested in rainwater collection after he noticed the difference fresh water versus city water made in his garden. I saw what rainwater was doing,” he says, “It could rain one time, and I could tell the difference in the plants. I could water every day [with city water] and not get the same results.”

Pedraza and co-owner, Chris Carroll, saw an opportunity to create a green business that would add value to the community while also preserving a precious resource. They formed One Texas Water in 2011.

Pedraza ticks off numerous advantages to harvesting rainwater.

Harvesting rainwater cuts down on water usage. It cuts down on soil erosion. It mitigates flood damage from severe storms. And rainwater is better for plants, animals, and humans. Rainwater is naturally soft. It doesn’t contain the minerals and salt that hard water does. Rainwater naturally fertilizes plants thanks to its nitrogen content. Plus, it tastes good. “It’s the best tasting water you’ll ever drink,” says Pedraza.

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The popular belief that Texas doesn’t receive enough rain to maintain a rainwater collection system is simply not true. “We live in a honey hole for rainwater harvesting,” Pedraza says. “We receive 32 inches of rain per year. Ours can just come all at once.”

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