Saturday, February 21, 2009

I found this bit of an article by Korey King on the Urban Renewal Think Tank site which has a lot of good forums on a lot of good ideas and news on progress.

Is Rainwater Use Illegal In Your Area?

Postby Korey King » January 22nd, 2009, 4:27 pm

The following areas have prohibited the harvesting and use of reclaimed rainwater, and you may be fined up to $100 for having any system of any size in use on your property (however, the materials themselves aren't illegal -- it's just against the law when it rains). This is what's commonly known as Batshit Crazy Capitalism -- in this case private corporations or municipalities lay claim to the rain itself, make it illegal for you to use it, and/or tax you to build more stormwater infrastructure so they may resell the rain.

some areas may provide Permits For You To Use Rainwater (for a fee). Check with your local rainwater racketeers for details.

Washington: ... #Rainwater
Much rainwater collection is already illegal or at least highly regulated in WA state. And in most areas with agriculture I would bet there are similar laws or some sort of legal protection for farmers to buy access to water for irrigation. But our state gov’t has said they will not prosecute home owners who are simply installing rain barrels for personal use, they are more interested in regulating commercial use.

"Colorado Water Law requires that precipitation fall to the ground, run off and into the river of the watershed where it fell. Because rights to water are legally allocated in this state, an individual may not capture and use water to which he/she does not have a right."

As well as some good ideas for things to ask local (Especially Colorado) legislators. These were submitted as quotes which is a great attribute of the Urban Renewal Think Tank []

"If I collect rainwater in a barrel that means I’d be stealing from the state. But what about my lawn and flower beds? They absorb some of the water before it runs off into the rain gutter, so is my lawn breaking the law? Do I need to put a big tarp over my house and direct all the rainwater into the gutter for fear of prosecution?"
"If the rain belongs to the State, it’s effectively the property of the State. In that case is the State liable for damages caused by their property such as water damage and flooding? If they’re not liable for damages caused by their property, is it right that they hold you liable for damages caused by your property?"

And of course, i had to join this think tank and forum and put my two cents in:

Re: Is Rainwater Use Illegal In Your Area?

Postby davidamartin » February 21st, 2009, 8:24 am

Colorado water laws are a hurdle we must work through so that it will be legal to build functioning and sustainable earthships. I don't really know how feasible it is to hope for a change in arcane laws enabled and enforced by governing bodies who stand to reap huge financial gain from them, but raising awareness and encouraging DIY rainwater use is a completely moral and ethical avenue. I have been talking about it and writing about it in local articles and publicly posted poetry as well as including it in the novels-in-progress i'm working on. A lot can be done in our local areas through friendly conversation and linking it to hope of sustainable energy efficient housing free from any infrastructure. The water harvested and used eventually enters the watershed anyway, water is never lost, but it can be channeled to and through plants and humans locally first to sustain and generate more life.

On the Good News side of things, some states are moving toward a more sane and progressive approach to rainwater harvesting:


  1. Hello David,

    I manage the maps at where there are all too few earthships. You wouldn't know of any I could add would you? This is the collection so far

    Regards, Oliver

  2. Oliver, I know of a few local ones here in this local area. I will do my best to get the information to you, pictures if i can. there are two i know of in the mountains near Lake San Isabel near Rye, Colorado and two in Penrose which is a little West of Pueblo, Colorado. Brighton, England has some. I'll help when i find more as well, good to be connected to you.

  3. reinforcement paving grids and other innovative accessories that can enable grass and gravel surfaces to take vehicular loads.