Corbett farmer leads rainwater conference
Corbett blueberry farmer Clair Klock will serve as chairman of the upcoming American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association conference, a trade show and educational program focused on rainwater harvesting.
The conference will be held Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 27-29, at the Monarch Hotel and Conference Center in Clackamas. The conference includes a rainwater system trade show from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27, which is open to the public and features vendors from across the country. A series of educational workshops are planned before and after the conference and are also open to the public, although there are fees to attend.
Klock said he recently installed a rainwater-harvesting system on his farm that has led to a 90-percent saving in water use in his nursery container yard when compared to last year.
'I overhead-watered it for years,' Klock said. 'Last year, I put a 3,500-gallon tank in the ground, and with a combination of harvested rainwater from the roof and regular smart irrigation timers, I was able to cut the use of water from 40,000 gallons in 2010 to approximately 2,400 gallons in 2011 (from the municipal system).'
Klock said he designed the system and the rainwater-harvesting company Portland Purple Water installed the pump system. He said it cost about $5,000.
Klock, a conservation specialist for the Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District, said he will talk about the district's education programs at the conference.
Rainwater experts from around the country and from abroad are expected to attend. Topics from making water drinkable to using rainwater for agriculture and stormwater control will be covered. A series of technical tours to a variety of local rainwater systems is also part of the conference.