In a recent article on rain barrels, I made mention that a few local councils had previously banned rainwater collection for various reasons unknown; but they’d finally woken up to themselves. One of the commenters on the article pointed out that in some states in the USA, it’s still illegal to collect rainwater, even a measly rain barrel’s worth as.. get this.. someone else owns it!
One of the commenters, George, quoted Colorado law which says:
“Colorado Water Law requires that precipitation fall to the ground, run off and into the river of the watershed where it fell. Because rights to water are legally allocated in this state, an individual may not capture and use water to which he/she does not have a right.”
This quote was sourced from the Denver government’s Denver Water site
**** UPDATE: As of July 1 2009, new law will become active in Colorado that allows the collection of rooftop rainwater from residential buildings (rain barrels), for use in watering landscapes and fire protection. More info here
I thought the Australian councils who banned water collection were a little nuts, but Colorado’s approach is beyond total and utter insanity, not to mention Draconian.
I like to think of myself as a law abiding citizen for the most part, but in regards to something like this, I think mass civil disobedience is well and truly called for. At the very least, I’d urge residents of states that have such laws to contact their local representative to draw their attention to the issue in order to have the silly law reversed.
Our governments have demonstrated they can’t secure water supplies properly yet, so we need to do it ourselves – a little independence and self-sufficiency shouldn’t be illegal – particularly when it eases stress on mains water supplies and for such a basic human need.
As another commenter stated in the article, with this law in place; if their property is affected by floods, surely they should be able to sue all the parties who have rights to that water collectively.
What are your thoughts?