Destination: Hawaii
by Trisha Macomber and Jan Gerston

Q: Where can you find a rainwater catchment system with a 3-million gallon (11.3 million liters) water storage capacity which supplies a demand of 25,000 to 30,000 gallons (94,635 to 113,562 liters) of potable water per day?

A: The Kilauea Military Campground in Volcanoes National Park, on the Big Island of Hawaii, the venue for the 2007 ARCSA conference!

The 2007 American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA) conference is scheduled in lovely Hawaii this coming August 15th - 17th, 2007. It is a venue not to miss in a location that is hard to beat, where you can learn about the latest on rainwater systems in North America and around the world.

The conference will be held Kilauea Military Campground (KMC), which occupies 50 acres (202,342 square meter) within Volcanoes National Park. The campground is a self-contained village with conference rooms, a café, lounge, cyber room, post office, bowling lanes, tennis courts, and other amenities.

Opened in 1916 as a military recreation and training facility, KMC now has rustic, comfortable cottages and apartments. The entire 50-acre (202,342.8 sq. meter) facility uses rainwater catchment to supply all of its potable water. There is even a nonpotable supply for firefighting.

The campground is located inside the Volcanos National Park. Not only will you experience a unique conference setting, you’ll be located on top of one of the most active volcanoes in the world. The Kilauea military campground offers tours of the park and we suggest you take full advantage of your Hawaii experience and plan on spending a little extra time to explore lava tubes, giant tree fern forests, hike across steaming calderas and if Madam Pele, the local fire goddess cooperates, perhaps you’ll get to see the explosive reaction of hot lava pouring into the sea.

Plan ahead. Rooms are in limited supply. KMC has opened a few of their military apartments to us. There is also the Volcano House hotel located about a mile from the KMC venue. Outside of the park, in the town of Volcano, within a mile or two of the National Park are many small vacation homes, B&Bs and Inns. Check the conference website for some listings (see Related Links). For those preferring traditional hotel accommodations, the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel in Hilo (about 50 minutes away) is offering discounted prices to ARCSA conference attendees.

Camping is also possible at the National Park, and KMC rents beds in semi private dorms for $15/night.

Two short field trips will be included in the price of the conference registration. The first one will be right on the grounds of KMC where we will tour their catchment system. The second trip will take us to Volcano Village, which is entirely dependent on rainwater catchment. All buildings — post office, hardware store, community center, private homes—are dependent on rainwater catchment systems.

ARCSA will hold a pre-conference certification class on the 14th, which will include a hands-on demonstration of a treatment system.

Keynote speaker will be Rebecca Drayse of Tree People, a group devoted to sustainable solutions to urban ecosystem problems. Rebecca heads the rainwater catchment division.

A special community event is planned and included for the second night’s dinner. Attendees will be invited to the nearby town of Keaau where the local Rotary clubs will host a dinner for the attendees and local rainwater catchment system users. You will have the opportunity to meet and interact on an informal basis with people who live in communities entirely dependent on rainwater catchment and participate in a panel discussion. This will be an opportunity for attendees to get first hand accounts of what life is like on catchment and in turn share their experience and knowledge with locals.

It is an event not to be missed. Fun, sun, and learning about rainwater harvesting, all in lovely Hawaii. See you there.

Related Links

American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association 2007 Conference
2005 ARCSA Conference article
Additional Pictures
See Hawaii Catchment Guidelines in Resource Section


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