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U of A promotes system to harvest rainwater

PHOENIX -- If you've got a lot of water at your house after Wednesday's storm, you may be able to put it to good use.

The University of Arizona's Cooperative Extension Facility in Phoenix is teaching something residents about rainwater harvesting. The system involves catching the rainwater in a barrel and distributing the water elsewhere in your yard.

Summer Waters with U of A said the system can be built to whatever you want.

"It go from a simple, small-scale, something that you attach to an accessory structure like your shed out back, to a large-scale system that can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars," she said, adding that water can be redirected to a garden or other areas of your yard.

A big rainstorm can send a lot of water to your house.

"If you have a 2,000-square-foot house, and you get a one-inch storm, you can get 1,200 gallons of water," Waters said.

Rainwater harvesting dates back to the third century BC, when farming communities in what is now Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan used it for irrigation.

You can learn more about rainwater harvesting during the University's Dragonfly event Saturday in Phoenix.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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