Who owns the rain?

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Don't catch rainwater You may think this to be a very stupid question but, as far as the US is concerned it is the government who owns the rain.

Don't hold a cup outside to collect water while it's raining, you could be arrested for that! Am I joking? No, I am very serious about this indeed.

Very few ordinary people, if any, have thought that someone could actually own the rain. The United States government, however, did... and they will arrest and fine you if you think you do and especially of you collect rainwater. According to them, they own it and not you, and that as soon as it leaves the clouds.

As I have reported previously Gary Harrington of Eagle Point, Oregon found out the hard way. He was arrested and sentenced to 30 days in jail for... collecting rainwater and snow runoff and storing it in a number of ponds on his property.

While the amount of water that Gary collected was quite a bit more than you might do in your rainwater butts and such like the latter is still as illegal, according to the US government as the former.

The fact is that Americans, according to the laws of the federal government and most state laws to harvest rainwater, unlike those of us who live in Europe and other countries, have no right to the rainwater that hits their property and are committing a crime if they collect and store it for future use. To all intents and purposes most states have laws in place that claim rainwater to be their own property and thus collecting and storing it is a felony.

I have been well aware that the US is full of strange laws but this really takes the biscuit, as we would say in England and I find it absolutely bizarre that the governments in the US could even contemplate of owning the rain? What next? Laying a claim on the air we breathe and taxing us for it? Better not give them any ideas, I guess.

So, before you install a rainwater harvesting system on you property best check out the local, state and federal laws as to the legality, according to US laws, as to this.

For any of us, whether survivalists planning for a crisis, or those who want to live more off grid and more in tune with nature, you need to be ready for anything and everything that could come from not only the world, but the powers that be.

Make sure that you know the laws in your state for seemingly simple things when you are thinking about doing well... anything.

While I know that this is absolutely stupid in this case I do thank my lucky stars that I, actually, do no live in the US but in the UK where rainwater harvesting is actually something that is going to become a requirement for newly built homes and is something that is advocated by the government as something we all should do in whatever scale possible.

It is true that in the UK, and many other EU countries, citizens cannot keep and bear arms in the same way as in the United States at least there are many other restrictions that we do not face. In most places we can have a vegetable garden where we like, including in the front yard. In fact the growing of food anywhere is being encouraged by local governments and by central government.

© 2012