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Collecting rainwater now illegal in many states

 
 
Stugotz
 
Reply Thu 12 Jan, 2012 05:09 pm
Collecting rainwater now illegal in many states
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Here is a story I came across and wasnt sure if others knew this as well.Anyone In CO collecting rainwater needs to read this as its another reason the cops can use to come to your home.

http://healthfreedom...over-our-water/


Collecting rainwater now illegal in many states as Big Government claims ownership over our water


Collecting rainwater is now illegal in many states as the Government claims ownership over our water sources. Yes even rain water. ~ Health Freedoms Many of the freedoms we enjoy here in the U.S. are quickly eroding as the nation transforms from the land of the free into the land of the enslaved, but what I’m about to share with you takes the assault on our freedoms to a whole new level. You may not be aware of this, but many Western states, including Utah, Washington and Colorado, have long outlawed individuals from collecting rainwater on their own properties because, according to officials, that rain belongs to someone else.
As bizarre as it sounds, laws restricting property owners from “diverting” water that falls on their own homes and land have been on the books for quite some time in many Western states. Only recently, as droughts and renewed interest in water conservation methods have become more common, have individuals and business owners started butting heads with law enforcement over the practice of collecting rainwater for personal use.
check out the youtube video of a news report out of Salt Lake City, Utah, about the issue. It’s illegal in Utah to divert rainwater without a valid water right, and Mark Miller of Mark Miller Toyota, found this out the hard way.

After constructing a large rainwater collection system at his new dealership to use for washing new cars, Miller found out that the project was actually an “unlawful diversion of rainwater.” Even though it makes logical conservation sense to collect rainwater for this type of use since rain is scarce in Utah, it’s still considered a violation of water rights which apparently belong exclusively to Utah’s various government bodies.
“Utah’s the second driest state in the nation. Our laws probably ought to catch up with that,” explained Miller in response to the state’s ridiculous rainwater collection ban.
Salt Lake City officials worked out a compromise with Miller and are now permitting him to use “their” rainwater, but the fact that individuals like Miller don’t actually own the rainwater that falls on their property is a true indicator of what little freedom we actually have here in the U.S. (Access to the rainwater that falls on your own property seems to be a basic right, wouldn’t you agree?)
Outlawing rainwater collection in other states

Utah isn’t the only state with rainwater collection bans, either. Colorado and Washington also have rainwater collection restrictions that limit the free use of rainwater, but these restrictions vary among different areas of the states and legislators have passed some laws to help ease the restrictions.
In Colorado, two new laws were recently passed that exempt certain small-scale rainwater collection systems, like the kind people might install on their homes, from collection restrictions.
Prior to the passage of these laws, Douglas County, Colorado, conducted a study on how rainwater collection affects aquifer and groundwater supplies. The study revealed that letting people collect rainwater on their properties actually reduces demand from water facilities and improves conservation.
Personally, I don’t think a study was even necessary to come to this obvious conclusion. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that using rainwater instead of tap water is a smart and useful way to conserve this valuable resource, especially in areas like the West where drought is a major concern.
Additionally, the study revealed that only about three percent of Douglas County’s precipitation ended up in the streams and rivers that are supposedly being robbed from by rainwater collectors. The other 97 percent either evaporated or seeped into the ground to be used by plants.
This hints at why bureaucrats can’t really use the argument that collecting rainwater prevents that water from getting to where it was intended to go. So little of it actually makes it to the final destination that virtually every household could collect many rain barrels worth of rainwater and it would have practically no effect on the amount that ends up in streams and rivers.


It’s all about control, really

As long as people remain unaware and uninformed about important issues, the government will continue to chip away at the freedoms we enjoy. The only reason these water restrictions are finally starting to change for the better is because people started to notice and they worked to do something to reverse the law.
Even though these laws restricting water collection have been on the books for more than 100 years in some cases, they’re slowly being reversed thanks to efforts by citizens who have decided that enough is enough.
Because if we can’t even freely collect the rain that falls all around us, then what, exactly, can we freely do? The rainwater issue highlights a serious overall problem in America today: diminishing freedom and increased government control.
Today, we’ve basically been reprogrammed to think that we need permission from the government to exercise our inalienable rights, when in fact the government is supposed to derive its power from us. The American Republic was designed so that government would serve the People to protect and uphold freedom and liberty. But increasingly, our own government is restricting people from their rights to engage in commonsense, fundamental actions such as collecting rainwater or buying raw milk from the farmer next door.
Today, we are living under a government that has slowly siphoned off our freedoms, only to occasionally grant us back a few limited ones under the pretense that they’re doing us a benevolent favor.
Fight back against enslavement

As long as people believe their rights stem from the government (and not the other way around), they will always be enslaved. And whatever rights and freedoms we think we still have will be quickly eroded by a system of bureaucratic power that seeks only to expand its control.
Because the same argument that’s now being used to restrict rainwater collection could, of course, be used to declare that you have no right to the air you breathe, either. After all, governments could declare that air to be somebody else’s air, and then they could charge you an “air tax” or an “air royalty” and demand you pay money for every breath that keeps you alive.
Think it couldn’t happen? Just give it time. The government already claims it owns your land and house, effectively. If you really think you own your home, just stop paying property taxes and see how long you still “own” it. Your county or city will seize it and then sell it to pay off your “tax debt.” That proves who really owns it in the first place… and it’s not you!
How about the question of who owns your body? According to the U.S. Patent & Trademark office, U.S. corporations and universities already own 20% of your genetic code. Your own body, they claim, is partially the property of someone else.
So if they own your land, your water and your body, how long before they claim to own your air, your mind and even your soul?
Unless we stand up against this tyranny, it will creep upon us, day after day, until we find ourselves totally enslaved by a world of corporate-government collusion where everything of value is owned by powerful corporations — all enforced at gunpoint by local law enforcement.
Source: http://www.naturalne....ion_water.html
 
Butrflynet
 
  0  
Reply Thu 12 Jan, 2012 05:21 pm
http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/environment/water/4314447
Quote:

December 18, 2009 3:26 AM

Who Owns the Rain? Hint: It's Not Always Homeowners
Across the country, resourceful homeowners have embraced rainwater capture as a way of conserving community water supplies while maintaining healthy gardens. Unfortunately, rain barrels are sometimes at odds with the law. Facing certain water scarcity, cities and states have begun to wrestle with the conundrum of water rights versus conservation. When it all shakes out, will you own the rain that falls on your own property?

Capturing rain may be one of humanity's most ancient methods of acquiring water, but now it's coming back in vogue. Rather than press their luck with drought, conservation-conscious homeowners are setting up rudimentary rain barrels and elaborate rainwater storage systems to catch precipitation for nondrinking purposes, such as watering their lawns. But while rainwater may seem like a global common, nowadays it depends on where you live: By capturing rainwater, some homeowners are breaking the law. This has put city and state governments in an awkward position--smack in the middle of competing water users and advocates, often from within their own agencies, of conserving water to protect supplies.

While laws about rainwater collection are often murky, Colorado's are quite clear: Homeowners do not own the rain that falls on their property. (Update: As of June 28, two new laws allow Coloradans to collect rain legally.) The Rocky Mountain state uses a convoluted mix of first-come, first-serve water rights, some of which date back to the 1850s, and riparian rights that belong to the owners of land lying adjacent to water. A single person catching rain wouldn't make a difference to water rights holders, according to Brian Werner of the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District. But if everyone in Denver captured rain, he says, that would upset the state's 150-year-old water-allocation system. The Colorado Department of Natural Resources estimates that 86 percent of water deliveries go to agriculture, which is already stressed by dwindling supplies. And because 19 states and Mexico draw water from rivers that originate in the Colorado Rockies, backyard water harvesting can have widespread implications (of course, the same goes for water that comes from the tap in these regions).

That said, "nobody has the inclination to go tell Grandma Jones that she can't catch some rainwater and put it on her tomatoes," Werner says. To his knowledge, the state has never prosecuted anyone for backyard water harvesting, so he tells people to go ahead with small-scale projects at their homes. Nevertheless, some state officials, such as Rep. Marsha Looper, have pushed legislation to legalize at least some rain collection. Two such bills are now working their way through the state legislature: One would allow rainwater collection only in rural areas, while the other would green-light urban pilot programs. The new rules will test the effects of increased collection, Werner says--Colorado doesn't want to let its millions of city-dwellers trap rainfall until they better understand the effects on the water system.

While most states don't appropriate water all the way back to the source the way that Colorado does, rainwater capture raises thorny legal issues all over the country, says David Aiken, a water law expert at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Water Center. Many cities have begun the delicate dance of encouraging residents to conserve water by catching rain without flagrantly violating their own laws--and, in some cases, they've changed the law to accommodate homeowners. The city of Tucson, Ariz., which receives a meager 12 inches of rainfall in an average year (much of it coming in big downpours), decreed not only that collecting the rain is legal, but that all new commercial development starting in June 2010 must include a rainwater collection system. Seattle encouraged the same in new developments even though the state had interpreted its water laws to say that any rain collector was subject to a permit process, according to state hydrologist and lawyer Kurt Unger. Rather than rewrite the laws or try to force everyone in Seattle to get a permit, he says, the state granted Seattle a city-wide permit, allowing residents to set up cisterns and rainwater storage without becoming criminals. However, Unger says, that solution was easier to implement in Seattle than it would've been in Colorado--farmers aren't directly reliant on the Emerald City's rainwater, so less political strife comes from collecting it. "All that water would've drained into Puget Sound," he says. "So who cares?"

Unger says so many Seattle residents trapped their rainwater that it would've been pointless for the state to resist, even if they wanted to. But such enthusiasm hasn't been shared across the West until recently. Many residents of Western states just didn't see the point of collecting rainwater, or didn't want to retrofit their homes to capture the paltry amount of rainfall in their area, according to Michael Dietze, a professor specializing in sustainable living at Utah State University. "When you need the water out here, it's not raining," he says. However, that era is coming to an end: People have realized that large-scale rainwater collectors can make a big difference, even in an arid climate, Dietze says. A legal fight erupted last August in Utah--which, like Colorado, had a blanket ban on rainwater collection--when car dealer Mark Miller wanted to capture rainwater on the roof of his dealership and use it to wash cars. Utah's legislature just passed a bill last month, which now awaits the governor's signature, that would allow catchments up to 2500 gallons--but Dietze thinks that won't be the end of it. After all, he manages the Utah House, the university's model sustainable home, whose 6500-gallon rooftop rain collector breaks even the new state law.

With water systems across the country already highly or fully appropriated, and with drought aggressively depleting supplies, Aiken predicts that legal battles over who owns the rain won't go away anytime soon. Old water-allocation systems remain in direct conflict with a growing movement for DIY water conservation, including rainwater collection--an approach advocated by the Environmental Protection Agency for at least a decade. But just how seriously conservation butts heads with existing water rights remains to be seen. "That's going to depend on Obama's EPA," Aiken says, "and what they prioritize."




Here's a list by locality of recent regulations regarding rainwater harvesting. It gives info on pending as well as approved legislation.

http://www.harvesth2o.com/statues_regulations.shtml


0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Jan, 2012 05:32 pm
@Stugotz,
This is odd. When I lived in Denver, the county had decided to base property taxes partly on the amount of runoff generated by structures and paving. Now it seems it's illegal to prevent runoff.
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Jan, 2012 06:42 pm
@roger,
Agree - in Oz some city councils were requiring or encouraging water tanks and grey water recycling in new homes because of how bad it got during the last drought.

For us though the homes are below the dam catchment areas - is it different over there?
0 Replies
 
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Jan, 2012 06:44 pm
This is bizarre.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  3  
Reply Thu 12 Jan, 2012 06:58 pm
@Stugotz,
many of the western states are what we call "prior approriation" states wherein resources like water are doled out in ccordance with a)supposedly) good understanding of the hydro cycle for that area. In Pa, we have one river basin that believes it has the right to own my wells and that, sometime in the future, I will have to pay to draw water from them .
We are given an "allocation" for water use. Ive been in court several times challenging the river basins authority.
Pa is a state where ample water exists from our huge recharge surplus. Utah and Colo, Im not so certain. I think the water authorities are attempting to first
1find out where all the water uses are and how much they are being used

2keep the water resources from being frittered away.

I thibk that, were I to (again} live in the Calif central valley where irrigation is drawn from snowmelt and all water is precious, id get involved in representing community water users because they usually are the ones that get screwed by the govts worship of agribusiness and huge water users..

Its a certain reality that has been growing since the 1940's, however, to capture rainfall by using a cistern seems somewaht extreme, especially since the cistern would capture rejected recharge anyway.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Jan, 2012 07:06 pm
@roger,
The Fed (actually the feds require states to implement this in the fear of losing fundings) have developed standards for infiltration and runnoff. Here in Pa, we have to have the entire property infiltrate the precip that falls on the ground in a fashion that can not be less than was infiltrating from the property BEFORE it was built on.
For a state like Pa (which had over 70" of rain this year and an avg decennial rainfall of about 47"} its stupid to make big demands . Id rather see some runoff so I can be assured that no contamination occurs(weve got detention basins that are loaded with oil slicks and the Environmental agency of the state (DEP) doesnt seem to do **** about it.
0 Replies
 
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Jan, 2012 07:21 pm
Here in Hawaii rainwater is the chief source of water for virtually all residents who don't live in an urban area which has a municipal or county-operated water-delivery system. Every farmhouse, every tract house has a huge cistern in the backyard for water collection. Being as how this is just a large rock, composed of hardened lava, there's no such thing as drilling a well into the ground, looking for a spring. Ain't no springs. All you'll hit is bedrock at about 12 to 18 inches. That's why our houses don't have cellars either unless somebody built a house on stilts and then filled in around the base with topsoil, gravel and/or whatever. Rainwater gets collected in these cisterns and is filtered through pipes to the house to be used for washing and -- if deemed safe by the local authorities -- for cooking. It is not considered potable unless boiled. Most people either buy their drinking water or get it from county-owned roadside taps where rainwater and ground-water have been suitably filtered and are constantly tested for purity. This service is free of charge. You often see cars lined up at these taps with folks filling up 10-gallon containers to get their drinking water. Selling potable water to such establishments as rstaurants in areas where the groundwater quality is particularly bad is a thriving business. You see these tanker-trucks on the highways, looking just like fuel delivery vehicles, with POTABLE WATER stenciled on their sides, heading for the resorts where guests are awaiting their morning coffee.

Now, if this sounds grim, look at the flip side: The coffee you're drinking, made with this water imported from somewhere, was more'n likely grown on a mountain-side within sight of the restaurant where you're having breakfast. It was freshly hand-ground that morning by mama-san who runs the kitchen. The OJ you ordered will not just be freshly squeezed, it comes from the oranges on that tree you see outside the window, the one in that grove of orange trees, right beside that other grove of banana palms. The eggs may well have been laid by the chickens scratching in the back yard. (Sometimes nobody knows just who these chickens belong to; they just came into the yard one day,found nesting places and started to lay eggs.) I couldn't vouch for the bacon but it's basically open season on wild pigs here. And there are a lot of them. These aren't any indegenous species of wild boar; they're domestic pigs that, pig generations ago, got loose from some farm that was probably being abandoned by its human farmer, took upresidence in the rain forest and proceeded to produce litter after litter of offspring. I think you need a hunting license to go out and shoot 'em, butthere's no 'season' as such. They're considered a nuisance and an economic threat to fruit growers.

All right, all right. I know that's off the subject of rainwater. I just got carried away.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Jan, 2012 12:22 am
@Lustig Andrei,
So, you're saying your coffee was grown using rainwater. Might as well tell us it was grown in dirt.
0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  2  
Reply Fri 13 Jan, 2012 12:46 am
This is the goofiest law I've heard of in a while. When I was in Vegas, I couldn't believe the number of "pools" I saw in the middle of a freakin' desert. That should be outlawed...
roger
 
  2  
Reply Fri 13 Jan, 2012 02:19 am
@Ceili,
And golf courses? They lose much more to evaporation and transpiration than pools ever will.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Jan, 2012 03:26 am
@roger,
most places govern golf courses [retty well. Here in Pa, weve had golf courses plan their water use based upon a calculated and measured rainfall deficit that is based upon water budgets and models. The irrigation of greens and tees are allowed in only certain times of day (early AM) and fairways can opnly be watered when the rainfall and infiltration excesses are over the budgets predictions.
We also design the watering systems to be as close to 100% recharging as we can make em.

I dont play golf but Ive seen these xeric golf courses that use macadam for their greens (like chip n putt courses).

I know in Vegas, some of the irrigation is done by water collected from a shallow perched water table that is mostly contaminated. Thats a reason why you shouldnt lick yer balls when playing a golf course in either Vegas or nearby Henderson
roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Jan, 2012 04:01 am
@farmerman,
Don't lick my balls.

Check!
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Jan, 2012 05:54 am
@Stugotz,
Strange; since property right usually go to the sky, and beneith if they include mineral rights... I think water may be considered a mineral, and some places the state reserves such rights to themselves..
farmerman
 
  0  
Reply Fri 13 Jan, 2012 06:12 am
@Fido,
water has been a publically held resource. It is mined under several different "theories" in wet v dry states.

Having mineral rights doesnt necessarily allow you to exercise em. You must show cause or need and ability to sustain the activity while protecting public health. Cheney tried to totally disassemble these rules but was only successful in reversing 100 years of progress for the oil and gas industry.
0 Replies
 
RABEL222
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Jan, 2012 03:29 pm
Next comes air if it hasent already been declared someone elses mineral property.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Jan, 2012 04:59 pm
@RABEL222,
IR IS OFETN BARTERED IN ENVIRONMENTAL PROJECTS. i THINK GEORGEO'B IS ONE MOST VERSED IN THIS MEDIA.
RABEL222
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Jan, 2012 12:24 am
@farmerman,
The breathing kind, not hot air.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Jan, 2012 12:44 am
@RABEL222,
No, I believe george ob's specialty is in fluid dynamics and his practice is in air pollution
0 Replies
 
ebertmadwoman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Oct, 2012 04:26 pm
@Ceili,
yes,in places like Las Vegas with many having swimming pools and it being the desert and with droughts, I agree with you.
0 Replies
 
 

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