"That Rainwater Is Spoken For"

March 26, 2009 By: Marshall Cutchin

Did you know that both Colorado and Utah have a blanket ban on “harvesting rainwater?” That’s right, putting barrel in your front yard and collecting moisture from the heavens could land you in court. In the Wall Street Journal Stephanie Simon explores why some western U.S. states have such stringent laws about rainwater collection and looks at the potential impacts of not having restrictions. “True, most people who store rain water will eventually dump it on lawns and gardens — exactly where it would have fallen in the first place. But they are likely to do that during dry seasons when thirsty plants suck up most of the water, and very little is left to work its way through the water basin and into rivers.”