I ran across this strange news story tonight while I was taking a break from an assignment. Apparently, even though God causes rain to fall on the righteous and the unrighteous, in some western states it is “unrighteous” to keep some of the rain that falls. I would have thought it was a joke if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes:
Holstrom’s violation is the fancifully painted 55-gallon buckets underneath the gutters of her farmhouse on a mesa 15 miles from the resort town of Telluride. The barrels catch rain and snowmelt, which Holstrom uses to irrigate the small vegetable garden she and her husband maintain.
But according to the state of Colorado, the rain that falls on Holstrom’s property is not hers to keep. It should be allowed to fall to the ground and flow unimpeded into surrounding creeks and streams, the law states, to become the property of farmers, ranchers, developers and water agencies that have bought the rights to those waterways.
And if you are still prone to shake your head at this in disbelief like I was, it is obvious that these guys take this thing pretty seriously.
Those laws, some of them more than a century old, have governed the development of the region since pioneer days.
“If you try to collect rainwater, well, that water really belongs to someone else,” said Doug Kemper, executive director of the Colorado Water Congress. “We get into a very detailed accounting on every little drop.”
Frank Jaeger of the Parker Water and Sanitation District, on the arid foothills south of Denver, sees water harvesting as an insidious attempt to take water from entities that have paid dearly for the resource.
I have heard of bean counters before, but this is more ridiculous than I ever imagined, and it isn’t even new. I am dumbfounded that these laws are over a century old. This officially qualifies as one of the silliest things I have ever seen, and I have seen some really dumb stuff. Is it possible that we have already past the point of recovery of the freedom that our founders envisioned?