And you thought you could keep all that rainwater

There is a growing trend in the U.S. and Canada as well for people to place barrels under the rainspouts that we all have around our homes. The idea is that this way they can collect the rainwater that would normally flow into the land and slowly find its ways into the local aquifer. This type of water collection is often referred to as grey water; or rainwater harvesting, and while not healthy enough for drinking water it can be used for watering gardens, flushing toilets and power heaters.

That is unless you happen to live in some western states in the U.S. like Colorado and Utah where it is against state laws to collect water this way for one’s own use

Those laws, some of them more than a century old, have governed the development of the region since pioneer days.

“If you try to collect rainwater, well, that water really belongs to someone else,” said Doug Kemper, executive director of the Colorado Water Congress. “We get into a very detailed accounting on every little drop.”

Frank Jaeger of the Parker Water and Sanitation District, on the arid foothills south of Denver, sees water harvesting as an insidious attempt to take water from entities that have paid dearly for the resource.

“Every drop of water that comes down keeps the ground wet and helps the flow of the river,” Jaeger said. He scoffs at arguments that harvesters like Holstrom only take a few drops from rivers. “Everything always starts with one little bite at a time.”

Source: LA Times

While there is a growing movement to have these laws changes the resistance is pretty strong as State Senator Chris Romer found out when he sponsored a bill for such changes which didn’t pass

“Welcome to water politics in Colorado,” Romer said. “You don’t touch my gun, you don’t touch my whiskey, and you don’t touch my water.”

And we don’t think that such things as water wars will ever happen outside of science fiction movies – think again.

picture courtesy of Rainwater Harvesting