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Using Rainwater Against the Law in Utah

Monday, October 06, 2008 by: Joanne Waldron
Tags: rainwater, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) A Utah car dealer, in an effort to do something good for the environment, decided that he would collect rainwater on the roof of a building that would be used for a new water-efficient car wash, reports KSL.com. However, he was quickly informed by state officials that it was illegal in Utah. As it turns out, many states have similar laws about rainwater collection.

Who Owns the Rain?

Many people are under the false impression (apparently) that they own the water that falls on their own land. Technically, it's even a violation of Utah state law for homeowners to collect rainwater in a barrel and use it to water plants. Although state officials admit that it is unlikely that they will target individuals, the law states that a valid water right is needed in order to divert rainwater.

People Across the World Harvest Rainwater

According to an article at Weather.com, harvesting rainwater has been going on for a long time in places like Africa, Asia, and Australia. It's also mandatory in some areas of the United States. For example, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, there is a requirement that rainwater be collected and stored on any new residential structure larger than 2,500 square feet. Collecting rainwater is also required in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The article also notes that 60,000 people in Hawaii harvest rainwater, and there are also guidelines for the harvesting of rainwater in Portland, Oregon and Washington State.

According to the website of Brad Lancaster, an author who has written several books on how to use rainwater harvesting to "turn water scarcity into water abundance," the state of Arizona is now offering a tax credit to homeowners who install water conservation systems. It certainly seems to make sense to utilize rainwater for things like yard maintenance and toilet flushing and such, rather than rely on the use of drinking water for those functions, given the current global water shortage. An article posted at the University of Arizona website notes that "80 countries now have water shortages that threaten health and economies while 40 percent of the world -- more than 2 billion people -- have no access to clean water or sanitation."

Impending Global Water Crisis

While there are no easy solutions to the impending global water crisis, it is clear that everyone needs to take whatever measures possible to make better use of the water that is available. The world population continues to grow, but the amount of available water remains the same. In a book called Tapped Out: The Coming World Crisis in Water and What We Can Do About it, by Former Sen. Paul Simon from Illinois (per the University of Arizona article), he states, "Within a few years, a water crisis of catastrophic proportions will explode upon us -- unless aroused citizens... demand of their leadership actions reflecting vision, understanding and courage." Maybe the state of Utah should reconsider its absurd policy forbidding the harvesting of rainwater.

About the author

Joanne Waldron is a computer scientist with a passion for writing and sharing health-related news and information with others. She hosts the Naked Wellness: The Gentle Health Revolution forum, which is devoted to achieving radiant health, well-being, and longevity.

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