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.
This is while its scientifically proven that collecting rainwater is to the best of environment and people. Sharon Williams, UH Mānoa’s campus architect, who works on the campus’s long-range water planning efforts, said the current ideas in the university’s Long Range Development Plan focus on collecting rainwater through catchment systems on rooftops and other hard surfaces around campus to filter and use the water. The plan also looks at using unfiltered “greywater” for irrigation on campus, she said. “All of (these) will help to reduce our water bills, recharge the aquifer, limit the discharge of pollutants into the stream (and) ultimately the ocean, and reduce stream degradation,” she said.
Outlawing rainwater collection in other states
Utah isn’t the only state with rainwater collection bans, either. Colorado, Oregon 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.
Gary Harrington, the Oregon man convicted of collecting rainwater and snow runoff on his rural
property surrendered on 2012 and served his 30-day, jail sentence in Medford, Ore.
“I’m sacrificing my liberty so we can stand up as a country and stand for our liberty,” Harrington told a small crowd of people gathered outside of the Jackson County (Ore.) Jail.
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.