AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas capital shares another distinction as the indisputable crossroads of America's growing rainwater harvesting industry. Austin is where ARCSA was founded and where its 6th annual conference happens next month. With nearly a thousand members worldwide, ARCSA remains dedicated to promoting and educating the public on the safe harvesting and use of rainwater as an alternative for treated drinking water.
Kicking off the conference will be Lucia Athens, Chief Sustainable Officer, with the City of Austin. Athens is an internationally recognized expert on green building practices, as the City's first Chief Sustainability Officer to help guide the City of Austin's environmental initiatives. Athens has 25 years experience in both the private and public sectors, including 10 years with the City of Seattle's sustainability programs where she provided leadership in program and policy development. She also has served in key sustainability leadership positions with the board of directors for the U.S. Green Building Council and the International Green Building Certification Institute. In Austin, she worked in the City's Green Builder Program, was a Water Efficiency Program Manager with the Lower Colorado River Authority and operated a residential landscape design practice specializing in green design, native landscapes, rainwater collection systems and edible gardens.
This year's conference features the largest, most jam-packed schedule to date. With keynotes by four internationally acclaimed experts; the conference will host over 40 presentations, many on topics never before addressed, and will include another 30+ exhibition booths with the most innovative and advanced products sure to advance our thriving industry. At last year's conference, vendors announced over 20 new products. 'We should handily beat this number at this year's conference with lots of new products and modifications to existing ones', says Doug Pushard, chair for the 2010 ARCSA conference.
Some of the other presenters include: Honourable Peter Beattie is Queensland's Trade and Investment Commissioner for the Americas; Robert Glennon, author of the book Unquenchable; Bob Boulware, President of ARCSA; Dr. Peter Coombes from Australia; Jeremy Delost, CEO and lead designer at Rainwater Harvesting Systems, Inc.; Nate Downey, author of the new book - Harvest the Rain; Randy Kauk, President of RainHarvest Systems; Billy Kniffen with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service; Vessela Monta, Executive Director of the International Rainwater Harvesting Association; Texas State Representative Patrick Rose; and numerous others.
Exhibit hall is free to the general public and opens Monday at 1:00PM and is open through Wednesday at 1:00PM, closing Monday and Tuesday evening at 6:00PM.
In addition to the vendors and presentations this year's event features two fabulous tours open to the general public. The first is a private tour Monday evening starts at 5:30PM at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center followed by a tour of the Southwest Elementary School and then finishing off the evening at the famous Salt Lick for dinner, concluding at 10:00PM. The second tour is Wednesday afternoon with tour sites including: LCRA, ARCH Community Center (rainwater used for toilet flushing), Zilker Gardens, Feather and Fur Animal Hospital, Las Casas Verdes, HEB Grocery Store, Lower Colorado River Authority building. This tour starts at 12:30PM, leaving from the hotel and returns around 5PM.