US: You Could Face Jail for Collecting Rainwater on Your Own Property

Who owns the rain and snow that fall on your house? In some parts of the country, Big Government does:

You might be aware that it is illegal to collect rainwater on your own property in some states, but did you know that doing so could actually land you in jail? That is exactly what is happening to Gary Harrington of Eagle Point, Oregon. He is now facing a 30-day jail sentence and fines of more than $1,500.

His crime? Harrington has been collecting rainwater in three reservoirs on his property, and the government doesn’t like it. In Oregon, all water is considered property of the state whether it flows from the tap or falls from the sky.

Read more…

In Canada, that does not lack water, it appears to be legal everywhere. This PDF, put out by the government, gives plenty of advice but does not mention it being illegal.

  • Uncle_Waspy

    Ah…. but this would make for very funny prison exchanges.

    Rainwater Guy: “Oh hi there! I’m Caleb, your new cell mate. What are you in for?”

    Delroy: “Manslaughter one…three count. Whachu in fo’ nigga?”

    Caleb: “Collecting Rainwater! Can you believe this fascist tyranny we live under?!”

    • Frau Katze


    • Xavier

      The correct answer is, “Beat up 2 cops with my bare hands”.

      • tom_billesley

        “I ate the liver of my last cell mate”

    • Norman_In_New_York

      Nah! The rainwater offender would be sent to a minimum security camp where he would live the life of a Hogan Hero at taxpayers’ expense.

  • Xavier

    And… the U.S. government has declared it owns the land surrounding all bodies of water in the States. There are no guidelines for what constitutes a body of water, and no legislated limits on how far the land claim around them extends.

    Soon the government will own all the land – we will rent it from them, ensuring more revenue for our overlords.

    • tom_billesley

      On the UK seashore everything between high and low water marks is crown land.

  • tom_billesley

    They’ll probably stake a claim to sunlight falling on your property too.
    If too many go “off grid” they’ll lose revenue.

    • Xavier

      I know you’re saying that jokingly, but I’d be willing to bet a sunlight tax will be proposed in the near future. Progressive greed knows no bounds.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    The Beatles sang something about government abuses.


  • Waffle

    Jeez . . . wish you hadn’t posted this. You’re giving Kathleen ideas.