Who Owns the Rain?

Who Owns the Rain?

Apparently in Oregon…the state government owns the rain.

A rural Oregon man was sentenced Wednesday to 30 days in jail and over $1,500 in fines because he had three reservoirs on his property to collect and use rainwater.

…Harrington said the case first began in 2002, when state water managers told him there were complaints about the three “reservoirs” – ponds – on his more than 170 acres of land.

According to Oregon water laws, all water is publicly owned. Therefore, anyone who wants to store any type of water on their property must first obtain a permit from state water managers.

Harrington said he applied for three permits to legally house reservoirs for storm and snow water runoff on his property. One of the “reservoirs” had been on his property for 37 years, he said.

…“The law that he is actually violating is… Oregon law that says all of the water in the state of Oregon is public water and if you want to use that water, either to divert it or to store it, you have to acquire a water right from the state of Oregon before doing that activity,” Paul told CNSNews.com.

…“When something is wrong, you just, as an American citizen, you have to put your foot down and say, ‘This is wrong; you just can’t take away anymore of my rights and from here on in, I’m going to fight it.”

via Oregon Man Sentenced to 30 Days in Jail — for Collecting Rainwater on His Property | CNSNews.com.

Oregonians beware…unless you have a state permit…your rain barrels and downspout diverters may divert you right into the local jail.

I thought that rainwater storage was an environmentally friendly and inexpensive way to store water and ‘weather’ a dry spell without having to resort to municipal or well water…turns out it can be theft of public property.

 

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