Rain Capture Laws

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Kol Drake created the topic: Rain Capture Laws

First I have ever heard that there are states which regulate or outright make it against the law to catch rainwater... even in buckets for your home gardens.

Colorado water law declares that the state of Colorado claims the right to all moisture in the atmosphere that falls within its borders and that “said moisture is declared to be the property of the people of this state, dedicated to their use pursuant” to the Colorado constitution. According to the constitution, water must be appropriated according to priority of appropriation. As a result, in much of the state, it is illegal to divert rainwater falling on your property expressly for a certain use unless you have a very old water right or during occasional periods when there is a surplus of water in the river system. This is especially true in the urban, suburban, and rural areas along the Front Range. This system of water allocation plays an important role in protecting the owners of senior water rights that are entitled to appropriate the full amount of their decreed water right, particularly when there is not enough to satisfy them and parties whose water right is junior to them.

All part of laws for farmers -- so they can get all the water they need during droughts, etc. Hard to believe catching water from your own roof (or open container on the back porch) could get you fined or arrested!
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Jax replied the topic: Rain Capture Laws

It is amazing. To not have rights to the water that falls on our own land is truly bizarre. And it doesn't actually address the real problems! That's the more frustrating part. It's short sighted. Water is going to be one of the biggest, if not the biggest issues of the rest of our lives.
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  • Memnoich
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Memnoich replied the topic: Rain Capture Laws

actually, there was a provision put in, back in 2012 I believe, after a study proved that less than 1% of 1% of rainfall actually makes it to the rivers.
The provision, if you are able to get a well permit, and don't have water(city) run to your property you can capture rainwater.

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Jax replied the topic: Rain Capture Laws

Which then implies that, if I choose to capture rainwater to pour over my plants, instead of using tap water (which the plants aren't as fond of, which should tell you something), I'm breaking the law, right?
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Memnoich replied the topic: Rain Capture Laws

that would be correct, and those stores that sell rain capture barrels could be aiding in a criminal activity, as most of the store employees are not aware of the law and willfully, even excitedly, explain how to do so, and encourage you to do so.

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Jax replied the topic: Rain Capture Laws

Yeah, see that is complete bs to me. And illogical. There's no way around it, we have to change where we do water intensive activities. That includes ranching, farming, living. Tradition means nothing in the face of climate change and humans overloading the natural resources. I mean, come on, southern California cannot support the people there, not on the naturally occurring fresh water. But, if we got coastal states to build de-salinization plants that would ease the burden on the mountain states and the plains. And then, we have to stop trying to raise water intense plants and animals in deserts. Especially when the wildlife are struggling as well. I know it's a painful process, but it will have to happen sooner rather than later. That is what will make a difference, not punishing people for using rainwater instead of tap water on plants. Especially since the tap water is in essence being wasted then, since the plants don't want or need our drinking water.
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Kol Drake replied the topic: Rain Capture Laws

Once upon a time, California had 17 desalination plants 'in the works', however, even a couple of the operational ones got shutdown at one time or another.

Carlsbad: The United States' largest desalination plant is being constructed by Poseidon Resources and is expected to go online 2016. It is expected to produce 50 million gallons a day to 110,000 customers in San Diego County at an estimated cost of $1B.
(( note the amount of water 50 MILLION gallons a day to 'only' 110,000 customers. Census in 2012 put the population of SD at 1.3+ MILLION people. Strongly suspect the 50 million is going to companies and farms -- not 'average citizens'. ))

Concord: Planned to open in 2020, producing 20 million gallons a day.
(( pop. approximately 122K... so maybe enough for the city AND the surrounding farms. ))

Sand City: two miles north of Monterey, with a population of 334, is the only city in California completely supplied with water from a desalination plant. (( and tons of farming along the Monterey Bay 'crescent'. ))

Santa Barbara: The Charles Meyer Desalination Facility was constructed in Santa Barbara, California, in 1991–92 as a temporary emergency water supply in response to severe drought. While it has a high operating cost, the facility only needs to operate infrequently, allowing Santa Barbara to use its other supplies more extensively.

and those are just a few examples. To properly 'feed the people' (not counting the farms) they would have to quadruple the plants online... at a minimum.
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Jax replied the topic: Rain Capture Laws

Crazy isn't it? Where do they think water is going to come from if they don't build these?
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Kol Drake replied the topic: Rain Capture Laws

"Buy it" from the surrounding states as they have done in the past although -- with the surrounding states now having their own drought issues... 'alternate sources' will soon not exist.
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Jax replied the topic: Rain Capture Laws

Exactly. We've known of this problem for decades. But people keep sticking their head in the sand, which is all that will be left before long. ;-) Though, ostrich farming is a popular niche.
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