LCRA, PEC award $24,515 grant for water tank to aid firefighting efforts

New rainwater catchment system will support first responders in Burnet, Blanco counties

The following story is courtesy of the Lower Colorado River Authority.

A $24,515 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Pedernales Electric Cooperative will help Highland Lakes Canine Rescue install a rainwater catchment system and water tank for use by area firefighters.


PEC and LCRA present the grant check to Highland Lakes Canine Rescue.
LCRA and Pedernales Electric Cooperative representatives present a $24,515 grant to Highland Lakes Canine Rescue for a rainwater catchment system that will provide water to firefighters for use in emergency responses. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, from left to right, are: Susan Patten, LCRA Regional Affairs representative; Michael L. “Mike” Allen, LCRA Board member; Celeste Mikeska, PEC community outreach specialist; Margaret D. “Meg” Voelter and Carol Freeman, LCRA Board members; Brittany Osbourn, rescue executive director; Cody Broker, rescue facilities manager and trainer; and Janelle Boutte, rescue board member and volunteer coordinator.

The Community Development Partnership program, along with $16,780 in matching funds from the canine rescue, will provide a vital source of water for fighting fires in an area that does not have access to municipal water or fire hydrants.

During a recent wildfire, members of the community were evacuated when firefighting efforts were limited because of a lack of nearby water resources.

“We just watched as it kept growing and growing – and it got huge,” said Brittany Osbourn, executive director of Highland Lakes Canine Rescue. “When the firefighters arrived, we found out they had to go out and find water to combat it. It made us realize instantaneously how dangerous it is and how important a project like this is.”

Highland Lakes Canine Rescue worked closely with local emergency service departments to ensure the water tank’s design, size, location and accessibility could be used by local firefighters. The rescue’s facility has room for large vehicles to come in and out, and is in a part of Marble Falls that has limited traffic and is easily accessible by several fire departments, including Horseshoe Bay, Burnet and Granite Shoals. A manager also lives on-site and can make sure firefighters have access.

The surface area of the facility’s kennel building roof can collect more than 100,000 gallons of rainwater per year, potentially filling the 29,173-gallon tank more than three times over.

“This is peace of mind for our community,” Osbourn said. “If we have another fire, there’s always going to be water.”

The community grant is one of 46 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. PEC is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and is a partner in the grant program.

Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in January. More information is available at