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Legal to collect rainwater in Utah now.  RSS feed

 
gardener
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Utah has now passed legislation that will allow rainwater collection in approved containers.
http://cryptogon.com/?p=14321
Well almost the Govenor still has to sign off on it.
 
        
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Ridiculous and sad the fact that it was even needed.
 
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Why would you have to have a law to collect rain water? Just curious it seems like an odd law.
 
        
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Chuck wrote:
Why would you have to have a law to collect rain water? Just curious it seems like an odd law.

 

Have you been paying attention to .gov as of late?

http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/earth/4314447.html
 
Robert Ray
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Several States claim that all water including rainwater is property of the State and it is illegal to stop rainwater/snow melt from going into the groundwater.
Utah and Colorado recently have reduced the level of restrictions though there are still prohibitions on some uses of rainwater for personal use.
 
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  it is easy to ese why there is a law agianst catching rain water all water fro one place then runs through other places so if you get peoploe using it all in one place other places may go without, However things aren't that simple as you will find out if you look up rain water harvestign thar desert and tead articles about it.
it seems the english introduced wells and the old rain water harvesting techniques were lost in favour of gettign water out of wells which dried as the water table lowered, and rivers dried till recently they have reappeared when projects to reinstate old water collecting techniques were reinstated.
    They hold up flood water with barrier walls creating puddling and carry river water to pools. if you do this in an epoc of floods, you are only stopping the flood water from going strainht down to the sea in a glut, if you hold up water when there is not muñh in rivers than holding up water could have a differen face, be somethng that had a very negative impact on your neighbors. 
    . Also, if however the water where collected in pools with a concrete base then the water harvesting would not fill the water table and woould not be an advantage to those downstream. 
 
        
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huh?
 
pollinator
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Robert Ray wrote:
Several States claim that all water including rainwater is property of the State and it is illegal to stop rainwater/snow melt from going into the groundwater.
Utah and Colorado recently have reduced the level of restrictions though there are still prohibitions on some uses of rainwater for personal use.



This reasoning always illustrated to me that the lawmakers had a poor understanding of how the water gets used.  It is not as if people catch the rain off their roof and then truck it to another place.  Whether it gets used to flush toilets or irrigate gardens, it finds its way to the ground fairly quickly.  I'm glad these laws are changing.

In the city where I work, new residential and commercial buildings are required to install rainwater collection measures.

 
rose macaskie
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      It is complicated water can be used in such a way that it does not fill the water table, the water that is harvested as well as the water taht is provided to the citizens can.
        Those who use most water are farmers, if irrigation is too easy then they grow crops that aren't appropiate for the climate of their region.
      If you use water to irrigate it gets spread thin and evaporates it does not fill the water table, you only dry lakes and seas, lake Chad in Chad in the North of Africa and the Aral sea in the Soviet Union that was and thousands of years ago, the Thar desert in the North of India, a fact that is relflected in Indian mythology.

      If you hold water up in water meadows, puddles, have uneven ground so puddles form on it or use swales you will be refilling the water table if you simply put it in water tight containeers and use it to irrigate with you will not improve the water table unless it is to water sometihng that forms ground cover the whole year through and so reduces evaporation and then only if you use it in  a very careflu way not to grow sugar cane in the desert say. I suppose think sugar cane needs plenty of water because it grows in the carribean which is tropical.
      If you allow swales and such then some could put in false swales made as irrigation channels and be draining instead of filling the water table. rose macaskie.
 
                
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I collect rainwater (legally, here) and use it for garden irrigation.  Since I use drip irrigation, there is not a lot of evaporation.  The water ends up exactly where it would have if I hadn't caught it, to within 50 feet. 

However, it is not zero-impact.  Though it ends up in the same place as it would have, it ends up there at a different time than it would have: summer, instead of winter.  Does it make a big difference to the ecosystem?  Probably not.  I'm only collecting 4500 gallons out of about 35,000 that fall there in a typical year.

On a larger scale, maybe it would make a difference.  You know that some fool somewhere is going to do it on a too-large scale just because they can. So I am not totally opposed to regulating rain collection.  But it is silly to prohibit individuals from collecting rainwater on their own property for on-site irrigation use.  I am glad that jurisdictions that had a problem with that are coming to their senses.

 
rose macaskie
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KeithBC. I am not totally oppose to irrigation either, i argue with it so that all the ins and outs get talked about. It is a theme that needs to be deeply pondered.  I use drip irrigation though maybe more than i would if i didnot have a husband he put it in. It has lessened my effort to put down mulch which my husband anyway takes away again on the quiet becasue he thinks its a fire danger i think. the drip irrigation  has given a real spurt to my  young trees, they grow so much more with a Decent drip on them in summer. Argueing with him does not work or does so slightly as to be of doubtfull value. He is not mad only machistic and that means a wife must be kept in her place and if he ever listened to me i might get to imagining my place was a different one from the one it is. agri rose macaskie.


 
 
Robert Ray
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In some cases the inteligent collection and use of rainwater prevents contaminated storm water runoff from over taxing sewage treatment plants and going directly into streams and rivers.
Current code in our area requires new parking lots of businesses to make use of swales or run off catchments that have plants to contain and cleanse contaminated runoff.
Residential capture of run off just makes sense to me. Run off still being used in the same area in which it falls and serving a dual purose of not drawing from city water systems for itrrigation and helping preventing stormwater overflow.
 
rose macaskie
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 I have made a drawing of rainwater being made to work as hard as it can before reaching the sea and another how quickly the water goes to the sea if it is not held up .

It does not sound as if a few ponds and puddles could make much difference to the water table but in India a Arevedic doctor went to help in a village but found they wanted water more than health and so he decided to reinstate old ponds because there was such a shortage of water and after a few years the water table which had been dropping rose and some rivers that had dried came back to life so it was Rajendra Singhs experience that this happened. Maybe in india fif an idea like this gets taken up you have ponds made for each village and farmers start to hold up run off water, have ponds too, so there begin to be a considerable amount of pounds.

     Geoff Lawson’s you tube video -Permaculture Water Harvesting- mentions that if you hold water in a series of canals one below the other the water from the higher one overflowing into the lower then the water will have time to permeate the soil wetting deep into it and he says that in time you should get springs lower down.
      Bill Mollison in. his you tube videos “dryland permaculture strategies” mentions how dykes, berms, the berms work like stop dams, made in response to Roosevelt’s demand to remedy problems of drought and soil loss, hold up water, the fall off from a rain storm, creating a damper soil were the water has been held and as these berms where very high shade in which lots of plants grow.

      Bill Mollison also talks about a machine, made by Bob Dickenson of an engineer of Tucson Arizona, that dents, imprints, the desert leaving smallish pits in it that catch seed and bits of dry manure and how the water caught in these, wets the soil below to a greater depth than it is wet in other parts of the area which small difference allows the grass seed caught in the pit to grow. It is hard to believe is how much a small amount of water can do so much but the agricultural engineer Bob Dickenson had a bit of desert turned in to prairie to prove it.

     These water harvesting ideas that better the water table are ideas that don’t seem so logical to me to me but enough people say that a bit of water, held up, can make a big difference and they are people of enough fame  and seem to be so efficient that I believe it.

      sepp holzer mentions that his ponds keep the soil damp, and he has been gardening with ponds for a long time and is a very successful farmer. He says that together with other things, a good cover of mulches, and a lot of shade from plants and trees, the humid air created by so many plants, a soil full of roots both deep and shallow that help water penetration, he does not have to irrigate his land. His land is a on a very steep south facing slope, drying out is a problem with south facing slopes.
       He explains to South Americans that if the soils of highland took up more water there would be less likely hood of flooding they have been suffering from recently, downstream in his you tube video  -Work in the Ecuador against Natural Disasters- that is unfortunately in Spanish though the written title is in English.,

The organization “Excellent” have the same experience of the value of holding up water with their sand dams in Kenya. They have lots of videos of these in you tube.

 Peter Andrews in Australia has also been successful with his dry and salting up land and his main enfasis is on the importance of slowing down the course of rivers, creating  meanders and blocking up rivers  with water plants to stop the water moving too fast. He says that bodies of water are the kidneys and livers of the land and we have to reinstate them.

 There is  a society in North America that looks to create meanders in rivers with prizes for the best meander creators, I came across them somewhere on the internet.

The first drawing is of how water is wasted if it is not absorbed by the land or taken up in ponds  Agri rose macaskie.
tain-drains-into-sea.jpg
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rose macaskie
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  The next picture is of what happens if the rain is taken up by the land.
soil-that-absorbs-water.jpg
[Thumbnail for soil-that-absorbs-water.jpg]
 
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He who controls the water has unimaginable power.  Accordingly, giant corporations seek to control every drop. 
We must stay active and organized in order to protect our rights to harvest rainwater, and to utilize springwater and wells on our own land.
Water Wars is an effective place to get involved.
http://waterwars.pulitzergateway.org/
 
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It's that way because in the East where there is a lot of surface water anyone had the right to do whatever with surface water they could access but couldn't move it. The west was (re)colonized by miners however who needed to move the water a long ways to be able to use it for hydraulic mining so the laws were set up to respect the rights of the first person to use the water, not the person who has physical access to it (like whe it lands on your property). All fresh water was rain water once.
 
rose macaskie
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opcn , that interesting about the miners wanting to take water far away and that changing attitudes or laws to water.

  I have just been reading about water harvesting in the East, in India again and they put a fair amount of emphasis on the rules about water distribution, on for example the importance of the man whose job was to share it out or about how the water they harvested was shared out. They talked a lot about how respected the person who shares out water is, I bet they get a lot of bribes off farmers if they aren't as straight as anything.
when people talk of wealth they talk as if people wantd the nice car, the silly possessions , i think apart from nice cars being nice people want the car because it brings them respect, not because they have a silly love of tinsel , if you are poor you can suffer from such a desperate lack of respect it means people will hardley listen to you or let you join in on important conversation you gget left out i can understand why people want mercedes etc it is not frivolous wanting to be part of things.

  They make ponds features that are public to collect water for the village, the rich make them for the poor or the village get together to make them. Other ponds are privately owned for the farmers use. It seems to be land lords and kings responsability to make water harvesting ponds for the poor.

   They have systems like long walls check dams  to hold up water run off and create big  ponds for the village. I suppose it would take a lot longer for a pond to dry in the dry season than wet earth to dry, so all ponds turn into a source of water at least for the first part of the dry season.
     When the ponds dry wells and underground water tanks can be used.

      The reason they started reinstating ponds in India, according to Rahendra Singh, or his reason for it, was to give the villagers some water to use in the dry season. As part of the water from these ponds that had a natural earth floor, as the floor of the ponds is earth a certain amount of water in the ponds filtered in to the earth and this meant that ground waters filled, the water table rose and rivers that had died started to reappear but that was not what the pond builders  had been looking for, it was what they found out by a mistake.
Look up "Rajendra Singh water harvesting" in google.
       For me that is absolutely magic, hold up flood water in ponds  in the rainy season and you will fill underground water levels. This is in a desert area.
     
     They also use the flood water from rivers and water from glaciers of the Himalayas to fill ponds. The Thar desert is bordered by the Himalayas on the north side.

       One man Chewang Norphel, Tibetan or his name sounds it, this is up in the Himalayas part of India, has started to make man made glaciars
       He channels water on to the shady side of the peaks and helps it to freeze passing it through metal pipes the incoming water pushes the ice out of the tubes according to Chewang Norphel and builds up ice the shade where it will melt late in the year and provide villages with water when the ordinary glaciers in warmer areas have melted or something of the sort. I have only read one article on this. Maybe it is that on the shady side he can build up masses of ice at lower levels than most glaciers are found at.  Rain water harvesting Chewang Norphel.Agri rose macaskie.






 
rose macaskie
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      I have been working on a whole lot of stuff to do with water harvestign after whatching Darrel Dohertys videos to the end or rather whatching the series posted here to the end.
      He says more water collects in the ins¡de of the folds of hills than on the salient bits of hills, he calls the inside folds valleys but he is not refering to valleys that are cut into the ground loook skywards but entrances in the verticle plane into the slope, folds in the hills.
      I have a photo of wetter inner folds than the salient bit of the hills as there is this eroded peice of land to one side and variouse gardens away from my garden but visible from there and it rain and his idea is right the wetter bits were there for me to take a photograph of. agri rose macaskie.
PIC_0173.JPG
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Emerson White
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Something else to mention, while it is technically illegal to collect rain water in most of the west it is perfectly legal to control its flow on your property, so those of you on hills can still build swales to slow it down and encourage it to percolate into the soil, where you can then collect it as free and legal ground water. The system is clearly broken :/
 
rose macaskie
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          I have also done a drawing to explain this. Drawings kill my arm, i am not used to drawing on the computer, it makes me incredibly tense.
      The water that falls on the hills does not only go down hill it will run into the ridges. I have drawn the water running into the ridges as blue lines. agri rose macaksie
follds-in-hills.jpg
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rose macaskie
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     I have a drawing of the swales of Geof Lawton on contour which occupy most of the diagram and at the bottom those that Darrel Doherty suggest us using. Darrel dohertys  channels go slighlty downwards as they go out to the sallient bits of the slope that the rain wets less, so by carrying the water towards the drier bits of a hill. He suggest that the donward slope of the channels should only be such as to get the water in the channels moving outwards when a lot of water falls.
 
  Geof Lawton says that if you make channels on the level going round the slope that catch water going down the slope and hold it, the held water will have time to permeate into the ground  better, as it will be held in the channels for several days, maybe weeks these are eaerth bottomed channels tha should be plantsed with grasses to hold the earth. The water in the channels will have time more time to permeate the ground than rain water that fell onto the land and drained down to streams woul dhave time to do. geoff lawton says  that this can so increase the wetness of the hill that springs begin to appear lower down on the slope something corroborated by permaship in rainwater harvesting thread he started in the video he hung up there.
      i could not decide where to put all these diagrams of mine, i thought a bit of rainwater harvesting thread and of this one and in the end I have put it here but the truth is i did not try to think very hard, I just plumped for here though it might be better in raiwater harvesting whose name is a better indication that you might find all this stuff in it. 
      Raising ground water levels by earth works has also be mentioned somewhere, if i remember right, as an acheivement of Sepp Holzers in the South of Spain where it is pretty much a desert.
       The use of such systems requires a fairly complicated calculation on the part of local authorities as to, in which times of year and weather conditions holding up water is putting water to good purpose that would otherwise get carried straight to the sea without benefiting the land and when holding up water was benefiting yourself at other peoples expense or could cause the drying of a sea or lake and a great reduction in rainfall to some area. Agri rose macaskie. 
lawson-doherty.jpg
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rose macaskie
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      I also did a drawing of when swales might increase the likelyhod of mudslides and when that was less likely. I  have made this up. used common sense to draw this so all who know more must correct it, i thought it would start a fuller consideration of these questions.
    Of course everyone must correct everything i do if they see fit but a lot of what i talk about is a description of what i know others do, this is  just a supposition of my own.
      I imagine that if you dig well back in to the slope the swale will probablly not cause a land slide and if you dig a swale at the very border of the slope or on steep slopes landslides wil be more probable. agri rose macaskie.
 
rose macaskie
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  I have a drawing of how to dig into the earth so as to have your swale sufficiently far back in the slope to reduce the danger of landslides.
    I included a drawing of a shallow rooted tree and a deep rooted one .
  sepp holzer say pines are shallow rooted trees.
positioning-swales..jpg
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