Originally Posted Monday, July 26, 2010 by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger – Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles…)
Collecting rainwater now illegal in many states as Big Government claims ownership over our water
(NaturalNews) Many of the freedoms we enjoy here in the U.S. are quickly eroding as the nation transforms from the land of the free into the land of the enslaved, but what I’m about to share with you takes the assault on our freedoms to a whole new level. You may not be aware of this, but many Western states, including Utah, Washington and Colorado, have long outlawed individuals from collecting rainwater on their own properties because, according to officials, that rain belongs to someone else.
As bizarre as it sounds, laws restricting property owners from “diverting” water that falls on their own homes and land have been on the books for quite some time in many Western states. Only recently, as droughts and renewed interest in water conservation methods have become more common, have individuals and business owners started butting heads with law enforcement over the practice of collecting rainwater for personal use.
Check out this YouTube video of a news report out of Salt Lake City, Utah, about the issue. It’s illegal in Utah to divert rainwater without a valid water right, and Mark Miller of Mark Miller Toyota, found this out the hard way.
After constructing a large rainwater collection system at his new dealership to use for washing new cars, Miller found out that the project was actually an “unlawful diversion of rainwater.” Even though it makes logical conservation sense to collect rainwater for this type of use since rain is scarce in Utah, it’s still considered a violation of water rights which apparently belong exclusively to Utah’s various government bodies.
“Utah’s the second driest state in the nation. Our laws probably ought to catch up with that,” explained Miller in response to the state’s ridiculous rainwater collection ban.
Salt Lake City officials worked out a compromise with Miller and are now permitting him to use “their” rainwater, but the fact that individuals like Miller don’t actually own the rainwater that falls on their property is a true indicator of what little freedom we actually have here in the U.S. (Access to the rainwater that falls on your own property seems to be a basic right, wouldn’t you agree?)
Outlawing rainwater collection in other states:
Utah isn’t the only state with rainwater collection bans, either. Colorado and Washington also have rainwater collection restrictions that limit the free use of rainwater, but these restrictions vary among different areas of the states and legislators have passed some laws to help ease the restrictions.
In Colorado, two new laws were recently passed that exempt certain small-scale rainwater collection systems, like the kind people might install on their homes, from collection restrictions.
Prior to the passage of these laws, Douglas County, Colorado, conducted a study on how rainwater collection affects aquifer and groundwater supplies. The study revealed that letting people collect rainwater on their properties actually reduces demand from water facilities and improves conservation.
Personally, I don’t think a study was even necessary to come to this obvious conclusion. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that using rainwater instead of tap water is a smart and useful way to conserve this valuable resource, especially in areas like the West where drought is a major concern.
Additionally, the study revealed that only about three percent of Douglas County’s precipitation ended up in the streams and rivers that are supposedly being robbed from by rainwater collectors. The other 97 percent either evaporated or seeped into the ground to be used by plants.
This hints at why bureaucrats can’t really use the argument that collecting rainwater prevents that water from getting to where it was intended to go. So little of it actually makes it to the final destination that virtually every household could collect many rain barrels worth of rainwater and it would have practically no effect on the amount that ends up in streams and rivers.
It’s all about control, really.
As long as people remain unaware and uninformed about important issues, the government will continue to chip away at the freedoms we enjoy. The only reason these water restrictions are finally starting to change for the better is because people started to notice and they worked to do something to reverse the law.
Even though these laws restricting water collection have been on the books for more than 100 years in some cases, they’re slowly being reversed thanks to efforts by citizens who have decided that enough is enough.
Because if we can’t even freely collect the rain that falls all around us, then what, exactly, can we freely do? The rainwater issue highlights a serious overall problem in America today: diminishing freedom and increased government control.
Today, we’ve basically been reprogrammed to think that we need permission from the government to exercise our inalienable rights, when in fact the government is supposed to derive its power from us. The American Republic was designed so that government would serve the People to protect and uphold freedom and liberty. But increasingly, our own government is restricting people from their rights to engage in commonsense, fundamental actions such as collecting rainwater or buying raw milk from the farmer next door.
Today, we are living under a government that has slowly siphoned off our freedoms, only to occasionally grant us back a few limited ones under the pretense that they’re doing us a benevolent favor.
Fight back against enslavement
As long as people believe their rights stem from the government (and not the other way around), they will always be enslaved. And whatever rights and freedoms we think we still have will be quickly eroded by a system of bureaucratic power that seeks only to expand its control.
Because the same argument that’s now being used to restrict rainwater collection could, of course, be used to declare that you have no right to the air you breathe, either. After all, governments could declare that air to be somebody else’s air, and then they could charge you an “air tax” or an “air royalty” and demand you pay money for every breath that keeps you alive.
Think it couldn’t happen? Just give it time. The government already claims it owns your land and house, effectively. If you really think you own your home, just stop paying property taxes and see how long you still “own” it. Your county or city will seize it and then sell it to pay off your “tax debt.” That proves who really owns it in the first place… and it’s not you!
How about the question of who owns your body? According to the U.S. Patent & Trademark office, U.S. corporations and universities already own 20% of your genetic code. Your own body, they claim, is partially the property of someone else.
So if they own your land, your water and your body, how long before they claim to own your air, your mind and even your soul?
Unless we stand up against this tyranny, it will creep upon us, day after day, until we find ourselves totally enslaved by a world of corporate-government collusion where everything of value is owned by powerful corporations — all enforced at gunpoint by local law enforcement.
Monday, December 05, 2011 – http://beforeitsnews.com/story/1463/862/NL/Action_Alert:_New_Fascist_Bill_To_Federalize_All_Water.html
Tell both your senators to vote Yes on “Barrasso Heller Amendment” to defund EPA Corps jurisdiction expansion. Call both your senators at (202) 224-3121.
The EPA and Corps have published new regulations expanding the term “Navigable” so it could cover a bird feeder in your back yard. Don’t let the EPA and Corps get away with expanding their own jurisdiction and undermining the limits Congress placed on them by limiting their Jurisdiction to “Navigable Waters” in the Clean Water Act.
“The EPA and Corps actually want to control all waters of the United States and all activities affecting those waters. You do not want the EPA and Corps in your backyard,” said Chuck Cushman of American Land Rights Association.
The Senate vote is slated for after the Thanksgiving holiday and Congressional Recess to defund the new EPA and Corps of Engineers Clean Water Act regulations.
Please make your calls now! Keep calling through Thanksgiving week and after until you hear that the Senate has voted. Call, call again. Keep calling. Call your friends.
The Senate will likely vote after Thanksgiving an Appropriations Bill Amendment sponsored by Senators John Barrasso (R-WY) and Dean Heller (R-NV) to the Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill for fiscal year (FY) 2012 that would Defund the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) attempt to expand its jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act (CWA) through guidance documents and/or regulation. This is a full Senate vote.
- Call both your senators NOW to urge them to vote YES on the BARRASSO/HELLER CWA (Clean Water Act Amendment) (EPA Corps Wetlands jurisdiction). Call any Senator at (202) 224-3121. Ask for the staff person who handles Clean Water Act issues. Tell them the vote will be scored by the League of Private Property Voters.
- Forward this link
as quickly as widely as possible. This is very important.
- Do not assume your friends and allies know about this vote. You must get everyone you know to call.
- If one or both your Senators are Democrats it is especially important that you call, fax and e-mail them. Get your neighbors, friends and business associates to call.
In May of this year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Corps proposed a “guidance” document that attempts to expand their jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act (CWA) to include almost all waters across the country.
The guidance has not been finalized yet, but the agencies are quickly moving forward to a rulemaking redefining the term “waters of the United States.” It is likely the agencies may send the proposed rule to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) within the next two weeks, which is the last stop before a regulation is officially proposed or finalized.
The agencies intend to have a final rule by January 2012. American Land Rights expects the proposed rule to contain much of the language from the CWA guidance and would therefore expand the types and number of waters subject to regulation under the CWA.
More waters falling under “waters of the U.S.” would expand the permitting universe under the entire CWA, including Sec. 402 NPDES permits, Sec. 404 Dredge and Fill permits (wetlands), and Sec. 311 Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure plans.
The Amendment would do two things: (1) prohibit the Corps from finalizing the guidance and (2) prohibit the Corps from promulgating a rulemaking redefining “waters of the U.S.”
Below are talking points for your phone calls:
- The guidance uses broad language to define things such as “tributaries” that could lead to almost any roadside, agricultural ditch or intermittent stream being subject to EPA and the Corps’ jurisdiction.
- The guidance defines “traditional navigable waters” as any water that supports one-time recreational use (one trip in a canoe down a stream would qualify a water as a “traditional navigable water”). In the history of the Clean Water Act, the term “traditional navigable water” has only been used to describe major rivers that can float commercial vehicles like barges.
- Under this guidance, waters do not have to have a surface connection to a larger body of water that actually moves goods in interstate commerce to be subject to EPA/Corps’ jurisdiction. The water body does not even have to have actual water in it for much of the year to be jurisdictional.
- It allows the agencies to “aggregate” similar types of waters (small streams, adjacent wetlands, ditches or isolated waters) within a watershed. This means the agencies only have to make a “jurisdictional determination” on one water body to then get jurisdiction over numerous others without considering them individually.
- The guidance goes beyond both the Supreme Court decisions in SWANCC and Rapanos because it takes the court’s narrow opinion on wetlands and applies it to all types of waters.
- The amendment would prevent the Corps from finalizing this guidance, and would also stop the Corps from initiating a rulemaking that would more broadly define “waters of the United States.”
Notice: A special thanks to Kerry White with Citizens for Balanced Use, 1-406-600-4CBU — Kerry@balanceduse.org. Much of this alert came from their material. Citizens for Balanced Use, PO box 606, Gallatin Gateway, Montana 59730.Thank you in advance for your support.
American Land Rights Association
Chuck Cushman, Executive Director
PO Box 400 – Battle Ground, WA 98604
Phone: 360-687-3087 – Fax: 360-687-2973
Web Address: www.landrights.org
Legislative Office: 507 Seward Square SE – Washington, DC 20003 SOURCE
h/t to George King and Nancy Jacques