Who owns Colorado’s rainwater? + Catching rain water is against the law

Dandelion Salad

By Nicholas Riccardi
Los Angeles Times
March 18, 2009

Environmentalists and others like to gather it in containers for use in drier times. But state law says it belongs to those who bought the rights to waterways.

Reporting from Denver — Every time it rains here, Kris Holstrom knowingly breaks the law.

Holstrom’s violation is the fancifully painted 55-gallon buckets underneath the gutters of her farmhouse on a mesa 15 miles from the resort town of Telluride. The barrels catch rain and snowmelt, which Holstrom uses to irrigate the small vegetable garden she and her husband maintain.


via Who owns Colorado’s rainwater? – Los Angeles Times.


Catching rain water is against the law

By John Hollenhorst
August 12th, 2008 @ 11:49pm

Who owns the rain? Not you, it turns out. You’re actually breaking the law if you capture the rain falling on your roof and pour it on your flower bed! A prominent Utah car dealer found that out when he tried to do something good for the environment.

Rebecca Nelson captures rainwater in a barrel, and she pours it on her plants. “We can fill up a barrel in one rainstorm. And so it seems a waste to just let it fall into the gravel,” she said.

Car dealer Mark Miller wanted to do pretty much the same thing on a bigger scale. He collects rainwater on the roof of his new building, stores it in a cistern and hopes to clean cars with it in a new, water-efficient car wash. But without a valid water right, state officials say he can’t legally divert rainwater. “I was surprised. We thought it was our water,” Miller said.


video: ksl.com – Catching rain water is against the law

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8 thoughts on “Who owns Colorado’s rainwater? + Catching rain water is against the law

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  5. So in other words, rain from the sky, and therefore not currently existing in the waterway rights owners’ bodies of water, is not your rain when it falls on the property that you own, but is owned by the waterway rights owner that doesn’t own your property. That does not compute.

  6. It’s Control and Obey,
    U’ll wake up someday !
    Water, Water everywhere,
    not a drop to drink or spare !

    It’s time to say enough is enough,
    but, sitting at home is not enough !

  7. What crock! And the US calls itself a “free” country. Most rainwater that falls, especially in the west, is lost to evaporation, and generally causes more harm them good with erosion. The country would benefit from a lot fewer laws and a lot more common sense.

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