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Old 30 April 2013, 08:49 PM
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Icon13 Collecting Rainwater Now Illegal in Many States

Comment: Is this true?

Collecting Rainwater Now Illegal in Many States

http://www.pakalertpress.com/2013/04...n-many-states/
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  #2  
Old 30 April 2013, 09:26 PM
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I find the tone of the OP article overly worked up. Oh no, they're taking away our right to do anything we want with anything that lands on our property! Although there do appear to be restrictions on harvesting rainwater in some states, it sounds as if rainwater harvesting laws are becoming more permissive, not less.

http://www.ncsl.org/issues-research/...arvesting.aspx

http://www.waterrights.utah.gov/wrinfo/faq.asp#q1

I was also struck by this bit in the OP article:

Quote:
the study revealed that only about three percent of Douglas Countyís 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 canít 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
It either didn't occur to the author, or was deliberately ignored because it didn't sit well with the article's point, that "where it was intended to go" might be exactly "seeped into the ground to be used by plants" as well as to recharge groundwater systems. Many people's water supplies draw on groundwater systems, and in some areas more water is already being drawn from them than is available for long-term replenishment.

Speaking of a "final destination" for rainwater is silly in any case, at least unless you're injecting the stuff into a deep well you don't expect it to come back out of, such as is the case for some of the water used in deep well hydrofracking. Water circulates. It does useful things at all points along the cycle.

Whether a specific rainwater catchment system would interfere with proper circulation is another question; but regulating the practice in dry areas, if only to prevent people catching it in open pools where it'll evaporate rapidly, may well make sense. (Actually, that might need regulating in some wet areas also; it's a great way to breed mosquitos.)
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Old 30 April 2013, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
“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.
So it sounds like it's a matter of outdated laws that are still on the books. The headline saying it's "now illegal" is misleading, implying that this is a new ban that was recently put into place.
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Old 30 April 2013, 11:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
I find the tone of the OP article overly worked up. Oh no, they're taking away our right to do anything we want with anything that lands on our property!
I take it you missed the links on the side of the article to how the FBI was behind the Boston Bombing? They were kind of a tip off of the type of site it was.
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Old 01 May 2013, 02:23 AM
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crocoduck_hunter, I think I saw enough out of my peripheral vision to have deliberately avoided looking very hard at anything on the site other than the article in question.

That phrasing of mine about "overly worked up" was an attempt to be diplomatic.
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Old 01 May 2013, 02:23 PM
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It all depends on when you collect it. If you catch it before it hits the ground, I believe you're okay anywhere.

In California, water law is very strict. You can catch rainwater, but once it hits the ground, it's not rainwater anymore and you might not be able to legally capture it (particularly if you're in or near LA). Once it hits the ground, it's stormwater, which is highly regulated. There are additional regulations concerning groundwater, which is what stormwater becomes once it soaks into the ground.

Basically, none of the Western states have enough water for their populations, so there's a great conflict between our sense of entitlement (it's on my land, so it's my water) and reality (if you pump all the water you need, your neighbor doesn't have enough).

Water law in the western US is very depressing.

Seaboe
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Old 01 May 2013, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker View Post
It all depends on when you collect it. If you catch it before it hits the ground, I believe you're okay anywhere.
That's the issue I have seen in other articles about this topic. People were getting in trouble for having barrels that collected rain water they used to water plants.

Personally I don't have an issue with that since the amount of water is small, and it reduces the need of the water system.
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Old 01 May 2013, 05:00 PM
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As near as I can tell from searching on the subject, some states do, or did until recently, also forbid collecting into rainbarrels water that had fallen on roofs, etc. So I don't think it's automatically OK just because it hadn't hit the ground yet; laws vary from place to place.

A rainbarrel or two doesn't sound like much. But one of these cases involves 13 million gallons:

http://www.mnn.com/your-home/at-home...water-sentence

and here's one with 20,000 gallons:

http://www.mnn.com/your-home/at-home...ter-harvesting

and, of course, a couple of 30 gallon rainbarrels times a few tens of thousands of people (not a large percentage of the population of some metropolitan areas) would add up to quite a bit.

Depending on the particular situations, they might add up to quite a bit of overall ecological advantage, rather than disadvantage. But I don't think it's necessarily a silly thing to regulate. There are lots of things that have no effect when done by one person but which have a large effect when done by lots of people; and there are an awful lot of us.
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Old 01 May 2013, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Wintermute View Post
Personally I don't have an issue with that since the amount of water is small, and it reduces the need of the water system.
The amount of water falling on one roof is small.
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Old 01 May 2013, 05:08 PM
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IMO, it makes sense to make rules by state. A homeowner who is collecting rainwater to water his lawn in Nevada will have a larger environmental impact than the same homeowner in Washington
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Old 01 May 2013, 06:29 PM
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[QUOTE=Mad Jay;1733554]IMO, it makes sense to make rules by state. /QUOTE]

Yup. No laws on the subject in New York State that I'm aware of; and if there were any, it would only be sensible to have them be a whole lot different than, say, Arizona's.
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Old 01 May 2013, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Mad Jay View Post
IMO, it makes sense to make rules by state. A homeowner who is collecting rainwater to water his lawn in Nevada will have a larger environmental impact than the same homeowner in Washington
Or even on a more local level -- a homeowner in eastern WA will have a larger impact than a homeowner in western WA.
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  #13  
Old 01 May 2013, 06:43 PM
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Good point, Lainie. Eastern and Western Washington and Oregon have entirely different climates. I expect this is also a factor in some other states.
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  #14  
Old 01 May 2013, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
As near as I can tell from searching on the subject, some states do, or did until recently, also forbid collecting into rainbarrels water that had fallen on roofs, etc. So I don't think it's automatically OK just because it hadn't hit the ground yet; laws vary from place to place.
Some places regulate the stuff from roofs because of what it picks up on the way down. These kinds of laws and regulations are much more common in the West than the East because of the fact mentioned above: the West has always been short of water.

Seaboe
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