Matt 5:45 That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven, who maketh his sun to rise upon the good, and bad, and raineth upon the just and the unjust.
But don’t try to keep the water if you live in Utah.
A good idea – if you can get away with it
**Rainwater harvesting saves water, breaks the law **
All Mark Miller wanted to do was wash some cars and water the grass in front of his new car dealership.
As the proprietor of Utah’s first LEED-certified, environmentally friendly car dealership, Miller wanted to minimize his reliance on water from Salt Lake City’s public utility. So his extensive remodel of the building included two large new cisterns designed to capture rainwater for irrigation and car washing. But Miller was surprised to learn that trapping water on his own roof would be illegal.
“The state said no,” he explains. “In order to use the system, we had to have an existing water share. It’s ludicrous.”
Miller is not the only water-conscious Westerner to run afoul of the region’s prior-appropriation doctrine. Conservation advocates, including many utilities, have embraced the idea of using water collected from roofs, and stored in cisterns or rain barrels, to reduce reliance on dwindling surface water or groundwater supplies. Yet in Utah, Colorado and Washington, it’s illegal to do so unless you go through the difficult – and often impossible – process of gaining a state water right. That’s because virtually all flowing water in most Western states is already dedicated to someone’s use, and state water officials figure that trapping rainwater amounts to impeding that legal right.
I’m just glad I live in the wet Northeast.