Who owns the rain?

Scientists have been warning for at least a decade that eventually humans were going to start fighting over water.  Not fighting over water for golf courses, swimming pools, and lawns, but fighting to get enough water to drink, wash, and stay healthy.

Despite the long-term water shortages in western United States, especially in California, but I was  astounded to discover that there are states in America where the rain that falls onto a person’s private property is not theirs.  It is illegal to catch it in rain barrels and use it to grow vegetables or flush the toilet.  That’s because some states have passed laws saying that the rain belongs to farmers and water companies who have bought rights to it, and so homeowners have no right to collect it.

Harvesting rainwater is illegal in some parts of Africa.  I had no idea it was illegal in some parts of the United States of America.

Currently the law is being challenged in the Colorado courts.  Whatever the outcome, as global warming increases desertification and the sources of drinkable water decline, there is going to be a shortage of water to meet our basic needs.  This catastrophe won’t happen in a single overnight explosion, eruption, wave, or crash.  

But it would be a catastrophe of no mean proportions nonetheless.



About Terry Sissons

Terry Sissons is the author of The Big Bang to Now: All of Time in Six Chunks, and this blog is a dialogue about the universe and what’s happened in the last 13 billions years.
This entry was posted in mega-catastrophes, saving our home - thoughts about global warming. Bookmark the permalink.

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