Flutterby™! : Not your water

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Not your water

2008-06-28 10:25:40.775121+00 by meuon 2 comments

This story about illegal water barrels in several states, specifically Colorado, and not re-using water seems contrary next to agendas like USGBC's Leed Certification which actually encourages catching rainwater, potentially even for things like showering, flushing toilets.. There are some excellent comments below the story as well.

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2008-06-28 14:03:04.221965+00 by: ebradway

Like most states west of the Mississippi, Colorado manages water rights independent of land ownership. The same goes for mineral rights. It's not uncommon to buy a piece of property and find out that a prior owner sold the water and mineral rights. It's hard to understand for people in the wet east - but very little grows in Colorado without massive amounts of irrigation. Very little of this water falls from the sky. Almost all water is sourced from glaciers in the Rocky Mountains and spring run-off from Winter snows.

Water rights laws are devised to protect the owner of the water rights. It's not unlike the battle that Tennessee is having with Atlanta wanting to tap the Tennessee River. An upstream user of a stream could suck it dry or even divert it. Afterall, it's their land! Water rights protect the downstream users.

The moral of the story is: if you buy land in the West, read the title carefully!

#Comment Re: made: 2008-06-28 14:32:59.890939+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, this seems like a situation where the market has caused a mucked up system. Much like the mortgage derivatives business, when you sell real estate derivatives it's hard to figure out who owns what.

Out here in Sonoma county we've got lots of incentive to re-use water, and even though the first single family permitted systems are just going in, the county and the city of Petaluma seem anxious to do more. But catching rain water in a bucket is actually a fairly silly (and potentially dangerous) way to do that, at least in my neighborhood on the hard clay reworking your landscaping to provide mulch basins and other places to catch the run-off is much smarter. In the case of Colorado's water laws, probably more legal, too.

Aaand, I think I've mentioned before that I think it's silly that water in summer effectively costs me 1/3rd of water in winter (because winter is when they establish the baseline for sewer charges).