HAYS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Even though there hasn’t been a consistent amount of rain in Central Texas for the last few months, one local business said many people are turning to them for rainwater collection tanks.

It is in such high demand, one farmer is on a months-long wait list to get one.

‘It’s like liquid gold.’

While Central Texas is starting to see rain here and there, it hasn’t been enough to get Kathleen Mooney’s well up and running again.

“My well went dry earlier this spring and I’m a farmer,” Mooney said. “So I need water for my crops.”

Mooney is the owner of EIEIO Farm in Wimberley. She said she is now turning to rainwater harvesting.

She’s on a three to four month waitlist to get a tank installed.

“I have friends out here that have rainwater collection systems. None of them have gone dry during this entire drought,” Mooney said. “They marveled at how their skin feels silky soft after showering with the rainwater, that their hair is just exquisite. They have to use less moisturizer on their skin.”

Mooney said she’s currently trying to get a system set up for her field, but the plan is to eventually get it for her whole house.

“It’s like liquid gold,” Mooney said.

Until her tank is built, Mooney is getting creative by collecting water that drops from her HVAC system.

bucket with water in it
Mooney said the bucket for her HVAC system water fills about every 45 minutes or so. (KXAN Photos/Sarah Al-Shaikh)

“This water I give to the chickens,” Mooney said. “I water all my landscaping and my indoor plants.”

She also plans on collecting rainwater from her chicken coop in two 50 gallon barrels as well. Mooney said she’s counting down the days until the next big downpour.

  • Kathleen Mooney standing with two 50 gallon barrels
  • two 50 gallon barrels

“I can’t wait for it to rain again,” she said. “If it’s wet all September, I’m just gonna be on a dance-a-thon dancing the whole month.”

‘Calls are coming in’

Mooney isn’t the only one turning to rainwater collection.

CEO and Founder of CQure Water, Ron Van Sickle, said business is “pouring in” up and down I-35.

“Maybe their well isn’t completely dried up, but they are looking for alternatives,” he said. “In many cases, we’re setting up people so that they have three sources of water. They can track in city water, they can collect the rainwater, and they can store water from their well.”

Van Sickle said while an inch of rain won’t make much of a difference to an aquifer, it will in a rainwater tank.

“One inch of water added to it immediately,” Van Sickle said. “So it’s like an instantly recharging aquifer.”

He said business is up more than 20% compared to last year and that it would’ve grown even more if it weren’t for factors limiting them like the heat.

“We can’t work quite as many hours as normal,” he said.

That’s one of the reasons Mooney said she’s on a waitlist. But, she said she is patient through this process and wants to remind others to extend their gratitude to those who work in the heat.

“Bringing the glass of ice water with extra ice in it,” Mooney said. “Or slide them a tea or soda or just give him a smile, because it’s hard on everybody.”

Price and size of a tank

Van Sickle said an average 30,000 gallon tank can supply water to a single family home with two or three people for about ten months.

“Our average rainwater tank this year is 30,000 but the trend is for bigger ones,” he said. “We are putting in a lot of 50,000 gallon tanks now.”

Van Sickle said the cost of a tank with site preparation for a 30,000 gallon tank is around $22,000.

He said the complete system will cost anywhere from the low $30,000s to $45,000 depending on what other work is needed to set it up like cutting through rock and extensive collection piping.