Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Who Owns The Rain?

I know, it sounds like a Creedence Clearwater Revival song, right? But since rain falls everywhere, you would think that no one could claim it as their property.
But, apparently, in some states, it's illegal to collect rainwater, because the water belongs to the state. I'm sure some of you are thinking that is some sort of reconstituted hippie thing, that collecting water affects aquifer and groundwater supplies. Actually, it's completely the opposite.
So any multinational death conglomerate can tap into an underwater spring, purify and put it in plastic bottles, and that's not a problem, but collecting fresh and pure rainwater is illegal? In past times many people had rain barrels in their yard, at what point did someone say "Hey! You can't do that! You need to pay for water from the city!"
A news study says that thanks to global warming"climate change", 70% of US counties will face water shortages. So wouldn't it be prudent for people to now begin collecting and savingn water? Wait, conservation is the opposite of the American Way! Use it all up, then bomb some foreign country to take theirs because they're not using it up fast enough. Besides, once the polar ice caps melt, and water levels rise, won't there be more than enough water?


libhom said...

If humans don't stop breeding like rabbits, there will be lots more conflicts over water.

Tom Harper said...

It's true. I live in Washington, one of those quirky states where you can't collect rainwater. I've never heard of anyone being prosecuted for it, but that law is on the books.

If privatization of water become more common (which seems to be the case), more people will undoubtedly start collecting rainwater. Maybe the war on drugs will be replace by the war on rainwater collectors.

"Possession of a rain barrel. Guilty. Ten years!"

S.W. Anderson said...

Holy downspout, Batman, I learned something new today! I had no idea Washington or any other state bans rainwater collection.I find it hard to believe any state would attempt enforcement, unless some industry started collecting rain water on a massive scale – unlikely in eastern Washington because it can rain all day here, and afterward we're typically told it totaled 0.26", or some such. As Tom will attest, I'm sure, in western Washington, they get lots of water in their rain.

From a quick scan of the linked pdf, it appears Colorado doesn't actually prohibit rain water collection. It requires that any rain collected must be replaced by water from some other source. Again, I'm not clear on why anyone would want to do that, but assume there must be some potential advantage for someone.

Lew Scannon said...

Now, now, don't go blaming us breeders....
Perhaps this is the first step towards water privatization. I know once they privatized water in England, it became illegal to collect rainwater. Better to fund the corporate idiocracy than live free.
It seems there's a lot of things that local governments do that don't make much sense, but are an advantage to someone other than the genral populace