SALT LAKE CITY, Dec. 24 (UPI) — A bill before the Utah state legislature would allow property owners to collect up to 2,500 gallons of rainwater for their own use.
State Sen. Scott Jenkins, a Republican from northern Utah, hopes to change 70-year-old state law, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. Since the 1930s, all water flowing in Utah above, below or on the ground has been legally the property of the entire state, and anyone wanting to use it has to apply to the state engineer.
“If you have a piece of property, you should have a right to put a bucket out under your rain gutter,” Jenkins said Wednesday. “There’s still one problem: water law.”
State Rep. Ben Ferry, also a Republican, cast the only negative vote when the state Water Development Commission held a hearing on the bill.
“Water seems so simple,” Ferry said.
But he said it clearly isn’t, at least in the arid west. Ferry says if tanks and rain barrels are allowed the state should have a water registry so water managers know where they are when drought hits.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International