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Jul 27 2012

Jailed for Collecting Rainwater

Liberals will go to absurd lengths to conserve water, apparently believing that every drop that goes down the drain drips out an Antarctic drainpipe into outer space, never to return. This is why Tinseltown’s Jennifer Aniston brushes her teeth in the shower, and why some moonbats even oppose flush toilets. Collecting rainwater is one way to conserve this supposedly depleted resource. Yet collecting rainwater is not yet mandatory; therefore, under liberal rule, it must be forbidden:

A rural Oregon man was sentenced Wednesday to 30 days in jail and over $1,500 in fines because he had three reservoirs on his property to collect and use rainwater.

Gary Harrington of Eagle Point, Oregon had bureaucratic approval to collect rainwater that fell on his property, but…

Though the state Water Resources Department initially approved his permits in 2003, the state — and a state court — ultimately reversed the decision.

Here’s how Harrington characterizes his paper-pushing persecutors:

“They’ve just gotten to be big bullies and if you just lay over and die and give up, that just makes them bigger bullies. So, we as Americans, we need to stand on our constitutional rights, on our rights as citizens and hang tough. This is a good country, we’ll prevail.”

If enough of us adopt Harrington’s chin-up attitude, we just might, despite the Hope & Change.

“When something is wrong, you just, as an American citizen, you have to put your foot down and say, ‘This is wrong; you just can’t take away anymore of my rights and from here on in, I’m going to fight it.’”

Amen.

rain-barrel
Not mandatory; therefore potentially illegal.

On tips from Mickey Shea, Stormfax, Incitatus, and Artfldgr.

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  • Don

    Uh, there may be another side to this story. Rural water rights in Oregon can be quite convoluted. Landowners down hill may have had issues with the up slope property owner retaining water.

    One new up slope owner dammed a stream, left for the week. The down slope rancher found his cattle were getting pretty day, went and investigated.

    Opened said dam.

    New owner found out following weekend. Re-closed the dam gate and now locked the property gate. Left for the week.

    Following weekend new owner found the dam blown up….

    Ya don’t mess with water rights….

  • Nangleator

    Another angle: http://earthfix.opb.org/water/article/southern-oregon-man-sentenced-to-jail-time-for-ill/

    You can collect rainwater, up to a point. Beyond that point and you’re causing damage to your neighbors.

  • IslandLifer

    Of course another angle from the dangle. Whodathought?

  • Alphamail

    IslandLifer

    All the dangle’s posts are eerily familiar.

    If you unscramble “Nangleator says” you get a few interesting possibilities.

    “Strange lao say’n” is such.

    My favorite…”lao eg: asstranny.”

    Probably the correct one: “lao’s an angry tse.”

  • Doug

    How about this one:

    lao gets anus rays

  • AC

    Good grief. How much of a barrel of rainwater would have made it downstream in a collectible format? I suspect most of it either evaporates, stays in the ground, or is absorbed by plants and later released into the atmosphere.

    This man should be praised for reducing strain on municipal supplies. If the folks downstream don’t like losing a couple ounces, maybe they should collect rainwater by the barrel, too.

  • AC

    If bureaucrats want to do something to improve the state’s water, they should pick up M4s and start shooting down the feral hogs which shit in the creeks.

  • 762×51

    Nangleator says:
    July 27, 2012 at 10:07 am

    You can collect rainwater, up to a point. Beyond that point and you’re causing damage to your neighbors.

    What an absurd theory. If rain falls on my property it is mine, you are not entitled to my runoff and I am not obliged to allow runoff just so you can have more. Just because I store it instead of wasting it does not change the fact that it fell where it fell. If my neighbor wants more water he should collect and store it just like I do. If some one “down hill” fails to collect and store what fell on them that is their problem, not mine.

    Your collectivist mentality is exactly what is wrong with America today.

    Don – Damming up a stream is different than collecting what fell from the sky on your own property. Funny story though.

  • Dr. 9

    Approval to collect rainwater? On your own property? Rainwater comes from God. No one else has the right to approve or disapprove, even in a communist hell hole like Oregon. Obviously, they’re not hanging enough politicans and bureaucrats up there. It’s clearly time to correct that oversight.

  • Ghost of FA Hayek

    You know you have a problem when rain falling on your own property belongs to the state
    even before it hits the ground

    AC
    The state claims ALL water is owned by the collective
    Therefor it flows downhill and into the ocean, to the benefit of no one
    Sound familiar ?

  • Joe Citizen

    Its a 1925 law, so hardly part of the Obamapocalypse. Seems like a lot of folks here have not the slightest clue about how water can be a scarce resource, of how disputes over water use have a very long history out in real America.

  • chuck in st paul

    You folks up there had better be careful not to do anything that might create a puddle when it rains, unless you have a puddle permit of course.

  • AC

    Its a 1925 law, so hardly part of the Obamapocalypse. Seems like a lot of folks here have not the slightest clue about how water can be a scarce resource, of how disputes over water use have a very long history out in real America.

    Water is a scarce resource, which is precisely why it should be collected in a purer form in rain barrels, rather than allowed to evaporate away or become impure by mixing with soil or stream water.

    100% of the water collected in a rain barrel is useful to mankind. How much of that water is useful had it been allowed to soak the ground?

  • Ghost of FA Hayek

    Seems like a lot of folks here have not the slightest clue about how water can be a scarce resource,
    of how disputes over water use have a very long history out in real America.
    J Citizen
    ——–
    Yes, like how the government causes mass displacement of an entire valley over a minnow
    http://reason.com/blog/2012/02/29/delta-smelt-v-central-valley-farmers-the
    Must be a “nuance” thing
    http://mcclintock.house.gov/2011/01/water-water-everywhereexcept-for-californias-farms.shtml

    http://www.thefreemanonline.org/columns/making-every-drop-count-the-case-for-water-markets/

  • IslandLifer

    Alpha you have a great point! Lao!

  • Ryan

    You guys might want to read Don’s response again, he’s on the right track. Also, I’m not sure why this is supposedly a “liberal” thing. The Portland Metro area is certainly very liberal, but there’s a lot of rural and conservative areas in OR, and while Eagle Point isn’t exactly in the sticks, it sure ain’t Portland.

    This looks like a pretty straightforward rural water rights dispute. The landowner decided to flout the local judge’s ruling, and basically got the reaction you’d expect.

    It’s probably also worth pointing out that despite the picture of a 50 gallon rain barrel at the bottom of the post, the article actually refers to “3 reservoirs” on “170 acres” of land. I’m guessing Don is right, and this was a lot of water to be holding back, with some downstream impacts to neighboring landowners.

  • Hybrid Lemon
  • Ghost of FA Hayek

    AC
    The justification in this case is that the stream belongs to the city, which flows to a river that belongs to the state.
    In the story the troll linked to, the guy was punished for creating a small reservoir to fight wildfires on his property.
    Apparently the “collective” feels that water is best utilized by allowing it to flow freely to the Pacific.
    This, unbelievably keeps rates at bloated public utilities from rising
    http://www.dailycamera.com/news/ci_15735983

  • AC

    You guys might want to read Don’s response again, he’s on the right track. Also, I’m not sure why this is supposedly a “liberal” thing. The Portland Metro area is certainly very liberal, but there’s a lot of rural and conservative areas in OR, and while Eagle Point isn’t exactly in the sticks, it sure ain’t Portland.

    It’s probably also worth pointing out that despite the picture of a 50 gallon rain barrel at the bottom of the post, the article actually refers to “3 reservoirs” on “170 acres” of land. I’m guessing Don is right, and this was a lot of water to be holding back, with some downstream impacts to neighboring landowners.

    It is a “liberal” thing because of insane bureaucracy and rules circumventing this man’s rights on his property.

    Let’s think about this logically: 100% of the rainwater which flows into his “reservoirs” is useful. If that rainwater fell on the land, substantially less than 100% would be useful downstream.

    The people downstream might complain about that, however they should be putting up their own reservoirs to collect water at 100% efficiency, instead of berating a man upstream for using that 100% instead of allowing far less than that to become useful downstream.

    If everybody uses the reservoirs, then everybody has more water to use. If the rainwater falls on the land, then much of it will evaporate, and much of it will be non-potable by mixing with soil, creek water, hog shit, etc.

    Even if 100% of the rainwater made it to the water table, what sense does it make to let it flow down there only to be pumped up again by means of electric use?

    How much more water will be required if the jailed man lets his property become a tinderbox, just waiting to catch on fire?

    The regulations make no sense and infringe on his rights, yet the bureaucracy insists on enforcing them anyway. That is what makes this a political issue.

  • AC

    The same strain of bureaucratic thought responsible for this injustice also hands out tickets for watering lawns during daylight hours to discourage water wasted by way of evaporation.

    The regulations are schizophrenic and make no sense.

  • Ghost of FA Hayek

    Ryan
    “Here” one would be tossed in jail, with the key destroyed for draining those “precious” ponds
    Warning
    Reading this wetlands manual can cause dizziness and night sweats
    http://www.bwsr.state.mn.us/wetlands/publications/MNRegulations.pdf
    And you still must comply with your local county rules, and the Federal clean water act

  • Joe Citizen

    “It is a “liberal” thing because of insane bureaucracy..”

    This is just boilerplate ranting – you have no idea what you are talking about. There is no bureaucracy here, merely an 87 year old law that represents the compromise that the local people there worked out amongst themselves to regulate water use.

  • Nangleator

    Don’t worry, Joe Citizen. Dr. 9 has a solution: Murder politicians.

  • dan

    Too many people …too close together …
    using too few resources….makes people
    go crazy

  • Jimbo

    What happens if a guy up the hill gets caught breathing air meant for Medford?

  • AC

    This is just boilerplate ranting – you have no idea what you are talking about. There is no bureaucracy here, merely an 87 year old law that represents the compromise that the local people there worked out amongst themselves to regulate water use.

    The 87 year old law has never made sense. The optimal public policy is one which maximizes the useful water available to society, which is clearly accomplished by unrestricted and unpermitted collection of rainwater.

  • Dogtoon

    Judging by comments it’s clear who’s involved in agriculture in the west, and who isn’t.

  • Tim from TK

    “There is no bureaucracy here, merely an 87 year old law…”

    Oh, that is much better.

    “Seems like a lot of folks here have not the slightest clue about how water can be a scarce resource…”

    Eugene, slightly north of this place – average rainfall 50.9 inches – a veritable desert.

    Only a liberal…

  • Joe Citizen

    “The optimal public policy is….”

    What the hell do you know about what the optimal solution is? Where do you live? To what extent do you have any understanding of the issues involved here – how real people out there are trying to make a living, having to deal with limited resources?

    I’ll trust the people there to do a better job in finding the “optimal” solution than some mindless ranter…

  • Tim from TK

    Oregon west of Crater Lake – annual rainfall range 20-180 inches. All of Oregon average, 27 inches. Amazon Basin average rainfall, 80 inches.

    “I’ll trust the people there to do a better job in finding the “optimal” solution than some mindless ranter…”

    A shame, Joe, you don’t trust yourself.

  • Ghost of FA Hayek

    What the hell do you know about what the optimal solution is?
    Joe Subject
    ——-
    Thirty days in jail ?
    For collecting rainwater on his own property ?
    This is more like a solution in search of a problem

    I’ll trust the people there to do a better job in finding the “optimal” solution than some mindless ranter…
    ——–

    Here feedlots and land use are regulated by the counties environmental services.
    Unelected unaccountable bureaucrats who make the law as they go along.
    These guys in turn appoint similar lifetime directors to the local watershed districts.
    Without these dictators approval, you cannot even construct a birdbath
    It took a three year fight with unanimous county commissioner support just to get them to appoint at least ONE director from the actual district, open the meetings up to the public, and merely allow public comment from those “mindless ranters” in the district

  • AC

    What the hell do you know about what the optimal solution is? Where do you live? To what extent do you have any understanding of the issues involved here – how real people out there are trying to make a living, having to deal with limited resources?

    What percentage of rainwater which falls into a barrel can be used for productive purposes?

    What percentage of rainwater which falls on the land can be used for productive purposes?

    Res ipsa loquitur.

  • Ummahgummah

    IslandLifer says:
    July 27, 2012 at 12:04 pm
    Alpha you have a great point! Lao!

    I think that’s been pretty clear for a while now.

    .

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