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It’s Now Legal to Catch a Raindrop in Colorado

Started by Waylon, Jun 29, 2009, 03:02:03 PM

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This is a follow-up to an LA Times story about people in Colorado who were breaking the law bycollecting and saving rainwater from their roofs to water their gardensduring dry spells.


DURANGO, Colo. — For the first time since territorial days, rain will be free for the catching here, as more and more thirsty states part ways with one of the most entrenched codes of the West.

    Holstrom's violation is the fancifully painted 55-gallon buckets underneath the gutters of her farmhouse on a mesa 15 miles from the resort town of Telluride. The barrels catch rain and snowmelt, which Holstrom uses to irrigate the small vegetable garden she and her husband maintain.

But according to the state of Colorado, the rain that falls on Holstrom's property is not hers to keep. It should be allowed to fall to the ground and flow unimpeded into surrounding creeks and streams, the law states, to become the property of farmers, ranchers, developers and water agencies that have bought the rights to those waterways.

Who owns the sky, anyway? In most of the country, that is a question for philosophy class or bad poetry. In the West, lawyers parse it with straight faces and serious intent. The result, especially stark here in the Four Corners area of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah, is a crazy quilt of rules and regulations — and an entire subculture of people like Mr. Bartels who have been using the rain nature provided but laws forbade.

Full story: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/29/us/29rain.html

I say, "Horsecrap". If it falls on my roof, it's mine, especially if I use it to water my garden. I don't care what Washington State claims, I will ignore their idiotic scheme to "own" the rain and do what I want with water that falls on my roof.
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