Diverting water in some Western states is illegal. Utah, Colorado and Washington citizens are banned from collecting rainwater or at the very least have strong restrictions limiting free use of it.
Recently a study was done in Douglas County, CO to determine how collection of rainwater affects groundwater supplies and the aquifer. By golly, it revealed that allowing homeowners to collect water from the sky actually “reduces demand from water facilities and improves conservation”. Hmmm… so collecting rainwater SAVES precious potable water! Furthermore the study showed 97% of the rain either evaporated or seeped into the ground and was used by plants – while only 3% of the precipitation ended up in the streams and rivers, which were allegedly being robbed by rainwater collectors.
I’m very happy we have two 1,500 rainwater collection tanks – and bioswales around our property – which divert storm water runoff from the St. Johns River. We use the rain that runs off our roof and collects in the rain tanks for irrigation, which is minimal anyway because we have 1,000+ native plants that require minimal watering. We also use it for our organic garden and that is controlled by a drip irrigation hose system. It’s on a timer to go off each morning and is monitored by a sensor, so it doesn’t water if it detects moisture. Many mornings there is enough water just from the dew on the metal roof to water the garden!
I just wish that Duval County would allow us to use the collected water as grey water to flush toilets. I will keep hoping… and talking!