Kidd talked about the various filtration systems that could be used to make rainwater safe for drinking. Some use reverse osmosis and cost more than systems that use ceramic and charcoal flirtations.
Janice Walker, of Rain Catchers in Kernersville, N.C., also attended Saturday's workshop. The company offers sustainable rainwater harvesting systems.
Walker's company has been in business for about eight years. Rain Catchers installs systems in sizes ranging from 1,000 gallons to millions of gallons.
Walker said the systems are assembled by hand and are easy to place on a mountainside or hilltop. They've done work throughout the U.S. and are working on projects in Haiti.
"You dig a hole, place a liner and then put your filtration system in and seal it," Walker said. "They can be any configuration with a flexible design."
Depending on the size of the project, the rainwater system may take just a few days or more than a week to install, Walker said.
Rain Catchers installed a system on a farm in Talcott, Summers County.
In Haiti, Rain Catchers installed a 10,000-gallon system in a mountaintop village with 800 children that lacked water.
"Now, they're catching rainwater and have a potable source of water," Walker said. "The biggest challenge is making people aware that this kind of technology is out there."
Walker hopes those attending the workshop leave knowing there are other solutions for drinking water.
"The people here are desperate for change and solutions," Walker said. "I come back and I'm thinking it's not that much different right here in West Virginia with this last chemical spill. I live in North Carolina and there was just this huge coal-ash spill, and my neighbors don't have clean drinking water."
Designing rainwater-catching systems is like using Lego blocks, Walker said. They can be designed based on the person's needs and the amount of rainfall in their area.
Cook hopes people left the workshop with solutions and a willingness to help each other implement what they have learned.
"We think that knowing some techniques really doesn't get you anywhere," Cook said. "If you know techniques but don't have anybody to help you or do it with or share the labor, then your techniques are not going to get you very far."
Reach Caitlin Cook at caitlin.c...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5113.