Oregon’s Criminalization of Rainwater Collection

Discussion in 'Preparedness' started by Harper, Jan 4, 2017.

  1. dads2vette

    dads2vette Supporter Supporter

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    Not to rain on your pond but...mine doesn't collect from a watershed. I have a berm completely around mine, no water in or out. Mine is small and lined but not all ponds get there water from runoff. Does mine prevent water from moving downstream? Yes, the amount that would have fallen on that small parcel of land.

    Also, I have read and been told that it was illegal to have a rain catchment system in AZ. I thought that was the oddest thing so I started calling local county governments throughout the state and was told "Nope, we actually encourage rain catchment." Soooo...check with your local government to verify your information. I know this comes as a shock to many, as Abe Lincoln once said "Not all you read on the internet is true!"
     
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  2. Bostoned

    Bostoned Scout

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    Oh, that is a fantastic idea. I would contribute to the legal fund to see that happen!

    Sent from my SM-G935P using Tapatalk
     
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  3. teotwaki

    teotwaki Tracker

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    I feel sorry for the Careys and agree the Oregon Government is overreaching but the Careys are in violation of the law because
    they never had any right to the water no matter how old the pond was. The Careys can disagree with me but Oregon Law is what counts.

    We are not discussing regulations and this is not a capricious govenrment inventing rules as they go. It is well documented but the news article skipped the facts.

    Here is the Water Law and sources at Water Resources Department Water Law https://www.oregon.gov/owrd/PUBS/docs/aquabook2013.pdf

    "Under Oregon law, all water is publicly owned. With some exceptions, cities, farmers, factory owners and other users must obtain a permit or water right from the Water Resources Department to use
    water from any source— whether it is underground, or from lakes or streams. Landowners with water flowing past, through, or under their property do not automatically have the right to use that water without a permit from the Department."

    "East of the Mississippi, the riparian doctrine usually applies. Under the riparian doctrine, only landowners with water
    flowing through their property have claims to the water. By contrast the prior appropriation doctrine is the basis of water
    law for most of the states west of the Mississippi River. In Oregon, the prior appropriation doctrine has been law since
    February 24, 1909, when passage of the first unified water code introduced state control over the right to use water. Before
    then, water users had to depend on themselves or local courts to defend their rights to water."

    Under Oregon Law if the original owners had obtained rights to the water that right would transfer with the sale of the land.

    "OBTAINING NEW WATER RIGHTS
    gaining authorization to use water

    Most water rights are obtained in a three-step process. The applicant first must apply to the Department for a permit to
    use water. Once a permit is granted, the applicant must construct a water system and begin using water. After water is
    applied, the permit holder must hire a certified water right examiner to complete a survey of water use and submit to the
    Department a map and a report detailing how and where water has been applied. If water has been used according to the
    provisions of the permit, a water right certificate is issued after evaluation of the report findings.
    In most areas of the state, surface water is no longer available for new uses in summer months. Groundwater supplies are
    also limited in some areas. Allocation of new uses of water is done carefully to preserve the investments already made in the
    state, whether in cities, farms, factories, or improvement of fish habitat. Water rights are not automatically granted. Opportunities are
    provided for other water right holders and the public to protest the issuance of a permit. Water users can assert that a new
    permit may injure or interfere with their water use, and the public can claim that issuing a new permit may be detrimental
    to the public interest. This provides protection for both existing water users and public resources."
     
  4. Harper

    Harper Guide

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    All the more reason to shed light on the matter in the hopes that an over-reaching law can be corrected and common sense restored.
     
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  5. Fiddlehead

    Fiddlehead Scout

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    As time goes on and these nitwits keep passing new laws it becomes very difficult to not to be breaking the law in some way.
     
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  6. Roamer

    Roamer Hobbyist Hobbyist

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    Thank you, @teotwaki for bringing the actual facts to light.
     
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  7. teotwaki

    teotwaki Tracker

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    AMEN!!!!
     
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  8. Malamute

    Malamute Guide

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    This ^^^.

    Sounds like most posting on this have their Righteous Indignation meters pegged, and aren't willing to confuse the issue with facts.

    Not about rainwater. Not about overreaching .gov. Not about capricious .gov.

    BTW, I had land in Az 30 or so years ago. I checked, at that time it WAS in fact illegal to collect rainwater from a roof or any other method for personal use. The CAP (Central Az Project, the state entity responsible for water for Phoenix). If theres locales that encourage rainwater collection now, great.
     
  9. Gruxxx

    Gruxxx Scout Bushclass I

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    It's interesting that in the East, a quantified retention of stormwater is "required" for new development, in the form of infiltration beds, infiltration basins, rain gardens, etc, while apparently in the arid west, the opposite holds true. (Rain barrels, while encouraged in the East, offer virtually nothing towards storage volume requirements, btw.)

    You're referring to a "Stormwater User Fee". Basically, local governments, burdened by increasing federal regulations to manage/treat stormwater, are heading towards making storm sewerage a utility, whereby property owners are assessed a "user fee" based on property use and sf of impervious coverage so they can afford otherwise unfunded mandates. Look up MS4 (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System) permitting for some eye opening stuff.

    Well, not so fast. The current EPA / PA DEP / PA municipal regulations are becoming more and more stringent as they pertain to stormwater management. If you're disturbing/building anything in a wetland, stream, or floodway, you'll need Chapter 105 (waterways and wetlands) permitting. (You generally can't just dam up a stream on your property, here or in the Pacific NW.) If you're creating more than 1-Acre of earth disturbance with your project, you'll also need an NPDES (National Pollution Discharge Elimination System) permit, which carries soil erosion and sedimentation control and permanent stormwater management requirements, along with long term operations and maintenance responsibilities that are legally tagged to the property owner. Even small projects, sometimes a building addition of 1,000 sf or less, require stormwater management. Stormwater management requirements do vary greatly by county and municipality in the state, however, generally being more stringent in the urban areas. I don't work for the government and I'm not interjecting my own opinions here, mind you; just stating the regs.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
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  10. Gizamo

    Gizamo Banned Member Banned

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    I'm really digging the new Head of the EPA...
     
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  11. gila_dog

    gila_dog BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend

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    If you don't like Oregon's water rights laws, don't move to New Mexico. It's very similar here. The state owns the water and to use it you have to have a "water right". That includes river water and well water. I think even rainwater collection off your roof is outlawed, but they seem to ignore that. Ponds definitely fall under these laws. These water laws are pretty old and were set up to prevent what I think goes on in Texas, where the property owner owns any water on (or under) his place. At first that sounds good, but when you see that some guy with lots of money can pump all the water he wants, depleting aquifers and streams to everybody else's detriment, you start to see the other side of it. These water rights can be bought and sold and are enforced by the state. As obnoxious as that seems to most people, it may be the best solution where water is scarce. That's pretty hard for people in places where water is abundant to understand. But it makes sense in places like this where there is just barely enough water to go around. I can talk like this because I recently went thru the whole miserable process of buying and "proving up" some water rights for my place. Before that I hated the whole idea of water rights. Now I feel like I have something to protect me from somebody upstream hogging all the water and seeing my well go dry.
     
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  12. wizard

    wizard Guide

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    It would seem that there may be a lot of beavers that are not in compliance of the Oregon water collection laws. If I were a lawyer I would be placing ads on TV to let the said beavers know that my firm would be willing to represent them, for a small fee, of course. Dam beavers!
     
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  13. teotwaki

    teotwaki Tracker

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    very punny!
     
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  14. jrecords44

    jrecords44 Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    I think what everyone is missing here is the bigger problem as a whole. The USA IS IN A WATER CRISIS. Just google it. as it sits right now we cant as a nation keep supporting the population with the water we have and the ways we have been. this needs to be wake up call for us as a nation for the finite natrual resource we have.

    So in this case when a finite resource is found who come in to control it the government, always has.
     
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  15. remington79

    remington79 Scout

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    In some cases this is done on purpose it's a form of control. If someone wanted they could find something. I heard about a book that said there are so many laws that people commit felonies on the way to work and don't realize it.

    Good people disobey bad laws. If they didn't we'd still have the Stamp Act and be British subjects. Our country was founded on disobeying bad laws just read our history. Look into Jury Nullification. You can find someone not guilty if you find what they are charged with is an unjust or wrong law.
     
  16. IW17

    IW17 Tracker

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    It's funny but as I read through this thread I was reminded of an article I read a few years back, that used this book for examples. It was all about how government has created so many laws that it's simply impossible to live your day to day life without committing some sort of crime. It went on to explain how the average law abiding American commits three felonies per day, without ever knowing it. I'll try to dig up the article, it's an interesting read.
     
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