The rain belongs to the government?

Jenny and I have been talking about what kind of place we want to get in the spring. We’ve decided to lease a house in the neighborhood that she lives in so the two youngest won’t be uprooted from their schools.

After that, we want to save up and get a place on a few acres just north of Houston.

We have the pigs and the broilers, so it’d be nice to not have to lease a place. We also like the idea of having a nice big garden and a little peace and quiet that would come from being a little more isolated.

Watching all my friends who raise animals and seeing the effects that the drought has had on the cost of feed and hay has made me think of alternative methods for watering our plants and animals.

Living in Austin for as long as I did I became pretty savvy with rain water collection systems and composting. It’s fairly easy and inexpensive to set up. It does require some work, but if you’re already putting in the hours at a farm or garden, then an extra 30 minutes a day isn’t that big a deal.

Well, yesterday, I was reading an article that absolutely floored me. Certain states have “outlawed” rain water collection by private individuals.

They claim that the rain would naturally run off and supply local aquifers and other water supplies that are currently used for public consumption. Therefore, the rain water belongs to the local government and collection is illegal.


Certain cities in Utah, Colorado and Washington have such laws in effect.

Now. Here’s where I think. (and keep this is mind, it’s just my opinion) If I set up a rain water collection tank to water my garden, I’m saving approximately 2 gallons of water a month from the already depleted supplies. If 20 families did the same, that’d be 40 gallons that wouldn’t be used that the government has spent time and money to treat.

The average rainfall accumulated in a water source from about 10″ of rain would only be about 40 gallons of treated water. (again, keep in mind. These numbers come from a friend who is a purification plant supervisor in north Texas and are estimates)

Out of that same 10″ of rain, my container would only collect about .05 gallons.

Yep. I can definitely see how my barrel would cripple our cities water supply.

I’m wondering just how much money these agencies make off of the fines that they impose. Better yet, does the cost of enforcing those fines offset the cost of the fine itself?

Some days I wonder just how greedy a person or group of people has to be in order to tell us that basically, “We own the rain.”

I’m going to try to remember to post the link where I saw this information when I get home. I’m lucky enough to just get a blog post typed up from my phone. If I tried to add links, my head might explode. And of course, we’d have to use tap water to clean that mess up.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s