Man Gets Prison Sentence For Collecting Rainwater On His Property

Collecting Rainwater Collecting Rainwater

Collecting rainwater on your own property in the U.S. can now lead to jail time, as has been proven by a man from Oregon who was sentenced to prison for doing just that.  Who owns the rain? The US government, apparently.

Not so long ago, it was common practice across much of the world to collect rainwater into man made wells on your property to use for farming, irrigation and having fresh clean water.  It was just as common as canning your own food, having knowledge of at least some basic survival skills, and being self-sufficient.

It wasn’t even that many generations ago that all of this was common practice – people born before WWII were pretty adept at these skills, as they were a necessity to survival.  One of the main (and easiest) ways to ensure survival was to collecting rainwater on your own property.  The practical uses for storing and collecting rainwater are numerous and many people across the world in rural areas still do it today for all of the reasons listed above.  However, over the past few years, laws making the collection of rainwater illegal have been causing an uproar across the US.

Now, a man from Grey Point, Oregon has been sentenced to thirty days in prison for storing collected rainwater on his very own property – and the public is outraged.

According to CNS News (source):

A rural Oregon man was sentenced Wednesday to 30 days in jail and over $1,500 in fines because he had three reservoirs on his property to collect and use rainwater.

collecting rainwater

Gary Harrington of Eagle Point, Ore., says he plans to appeal his conviction in Jackson County (Ore.) Circuit Court on nine misdemeanor charges under a 1925 law for having what state water managers called “three illegal reservoirs” on his property – and for filling the reservoirs with rainwater and snow runoff.

“The government is bullying,” Harrington told in an interview Thursday.

“They’ve just gotten to be big bullies and if you just lay over and die and give up, that just makes them bigger bullies. So, we as Americans, we need to stand on our constitutional rights, on our rights as citizens and hang tough. This is a good country, we’ll prevail,” he said.

The court has given Harrington two weeks to report to the Jackson County Jail to begin serving his sentence.

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Harrington said the case first began in 2002, when state water managers told him there were complaints about the three “reservoirs” – ponds – on his more than 170 acres of land.

According to Oregon water laws, all water is publicly owned. Therefore, anyone who wants to store any type of water on their property must first obtain a permit from state water managers.

Harrington said he applied for three permits to legally house reservoirs for storm and snow water runoff on his property. One of the “reservoirs” had been on his property for 37 years, he said.

Though the state Water Resources Department initially approved his permits in 2003, the state – and a state court — ultimately reversed the decision.

“They issued me my permits. I had my permits in hand and they retracted them just arbitrarily, basically. They took them back and said ‘No, you can’t have them,’ so I’ve been fighting it ever since,” Harrington told

The case, he said, is centered on a 1925 law which states that the city of Medford holds exclusive rights to “all core sources of water” in the Big Butte Creek watershed and its tributaries.

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“Way back in 1925 the city of Medford got a unique withdrawal that withdrew all — supposedly all — the water out of a single basin and supposedly for the benefit of the city of Medford,” Harrington told

Harrington told, however, that the 1925 law doesn’t mention anything about colleting rainwater or snow melt — and he believes that he has been falsely accused.

“The withdrawal said the stream and its tributaries. It didn’t mention anything about rainwater and it didn’t mention anything about snow melt and it didn’t mention anything about diffused water, but yet now, they’re trying to expand that to include that rain water and they’re using me as the goat to do it,” Harrington

But Tom Paul, administrator of the Oregon Water Resources Department, claims that Harrington has been violating the state’s water use law by diverting water from streams running into the Big Butte River.

“The law that he is actually violating is not the 1925 provision, but it’s Oregon law that says all of the water in the state of Oregon is public water and if you want to use that water, either to divert it or to store it, you have to acquire a water right from the state of Oregon before doing that activity,” Paul told

Yet Paul admitted the 1925 law does apply because, he said, Harrington constructed dams to block a tributary to the Big Butte, which Medford uses for its water supply.

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“There are dams across channels, water channels where the water would normally flow if it were not for the dam and so those dams are stopping the water from flowing in the channel and storing it- holding it so it cannot flow downstream,” Paul told

Harrington, however, argued in court that that he is not diverting water from Big Butte Creek, but the dams capturing the rainwater and snow runoff – or “diffused water” – are on his own property and that therefore the runoff does not fall under the jurisdiction of the state water managers, nor does it not violate the 1925 act.

In 2007, a Jackson County Circuit Court judge denied Harrington’s permits and found that he had illegally “withdrawn the water at issue from appropriation other than for the City of Medford.”

According to Paul, Harrington entered a guilty plea at the time, received three years probation and was ordered to open up the water gates.

“A very short period of time following the expiration of his probation, he once again closed the gates and re-filled the reservoirs,” Paul told “So, this has been going on for some time and I think frankly the court felt that Mr. Harrington was not getting the message and decided that they’d already given him probation once and required him to open the gates and he refilled his reservoirs and it was business as usual for him, so I think the court wanted — it felt it needed — to give a stiffer penalty to get Mr. Harrington’s attention.”

In two weeks, if unsuccessful in his appeals, Harrington told that he will report to the Jackson County Jail to serve his sentence.

“I follow the rules. If I’m mandated to report, I’m going to report. Of course, I’m going to do what it takes in the meantime to prevent that, but if I’m not successful, I’ll be there,” Harrington said.

But Harrington also said that he will never stop fighting the government on this issue.

“When something is wrong, you just, as an American citizen, you have to put your foot down and say, ‘This is wrong; you just can’t take away anymore of my rights and from here on in, I’m going to fight it.”

What are your thoughts on collecting rainwater – especially when it is on your own property?  Who do you think should “own” the rain?

This article was originally published in 2015 and is frequently updated

Royce Christyn
About Royce Christyn (3467 Articles)
Documentarian, Writer, Producer, Director, Author.
  • Dave

    Slanted article; pictures show barrels when he had actual ‘ponds’ and diverted stream water.

    • Montana Rancher

      I agree, this story has been out there for a while, as most people don’t understand the basics on “water rights” so it gets sympathetic ears.
      For example I have a small creek running through my property fed by springs and run off from my neighbors property, I and my heirs have been using it since 1890. A thief like this guy buys my neighbors property and starts to develop the springs for his own use. That is against the law, just because you are the farthest upstream doesn’t give you the right to water historically claimed by someone farther down stream.

      I won’t even start on the environmental issues of self constructing dams, sedimentation, etc.

      • sharonsj

        I also have a creek on my property, which flows into the Susquehanna. If I put up a dam, I’d be in trouble too. But if I put up rain barrels, nobody would care. These misleading headlines just keep Americans stupid.

        • BC

          actually you could be charged as well

      • Joe

        The key words here are” you have been using it” I fail to see any difference between Harrington and you. You are a thief from anyone downstream from your property. Typical dual standard.

      • Tom


  • Joe

    Declaring public all water such as Medford has creates the usual unintended consequences for greedy government. The best one I can come up with is that if you claim the rainwater you are responsible for any flood damages that it causes! That is how I would vote if I was on a jury.
    The other issue is that if it is government rain, keep it off my property! I hope Harrington prevails in this.

    • sambacomet

      I think you’ll see things differently if read up on the law and the actual charges. That is if you want to understand what’s happened rather than just react to media spin designed to make you a pawn in someone else’s game. Oregon -(not Medford)riparian law is a hundred years old. Anyone along a stream is allowed to use a reasonable amount of water. but not so much as to harm downstream users,and wildlife habitat. Catching rain is legal. If you want to see what happens without such safeguards take a look at the dry concrete troughs where the streams in the L.A. in S. California basin used to be.

      • sambacomet
        • Elliander Eldridge

          The reason why such rivers are drying up has nothing to do with rainwater collection. It’s about over extraction from the rivers. It’s happening right now to the Colorado river, for example:

          California, who is heavily impacted by this river, has ordered a reduction in use. They are talking about the rainwater collection issue as a solution here:

          In this discussion they actually mentioned an Australia living case study of using rainwater collection to prevent pretty much all of the problems you mentioned>

          California later concluded that rainwater harvesting can mitigate the impact of the drought:

          Remember, it’s still raining just as much – as an annual average – it’s just that collecting rainwater prevents an entire state from having to rely on a single river. It also spreads out the impact over time.

          • sambacomet

            I have 20 years of experience collecting rainwater, and operating private rural water systems – how ‘ bout you? Harrington was not collecting rainwater-, he had dams , docks boathouses , he was diverting a stream, and he pled guilty. Rivers drying up has everything to do with humans not thinking habitat and downstream users matter- and /or not caring, which is why Oregon’s water laws exist. This piece is flat demagoguery, intentionally misleading

          • Elliander Eldridge

            None of that matters. It is functionally no different than creating a pond on your property and making use of that water. Sure, you are essentially preventing the flow of water away, but only to the extent of the capacity of the reservoir. It can still technically flow out so the environmental impact is no different from any other such reservoir. In fact, many city owned reservoirs are built the exact same way and actually end up improving conditions. I actually grew up near an Earthen Dam lake that was at least 50 feet tall and it definitely restricted the flow of water, but it still flowed and it provided a habitat.

            You can see pictures of his “reservoirs” here:


            These are, quite simply, man made lakes. Can you provide a source that shows that lakes cause the problems you suggest? On the contrary, I would argue that a court order to dry up a lake is going to have the larger environmental impact.

            My point still remains that the practice of collecting rainwater – even in these quantities – actually help by preventing as much from flowing into the sea. If I wanted to devote my land to developing a lake reservoir I should have that right.

            Speaking of which, I live along the widest bend of the MIssissippi river. There are frequent droughts and floods. The city has an actual flood plain area near the levy system to prevent it from bursting. Just last night the torrential rain was so heavy that the street was turned into a river and I had to skip a day of university because I could not safely get through it. (The same floods hinder river shipping and destroy crops which directly results in higher food prices for the rest of the country) In the same area the caves that run beneath my property get so dry that I have to have special mine subsidence insurance to guard against collapse. The average rainfall on my land is only about 200k a year, but when you combine heavy street flow that ends up being over 1 Million gallons a year that flows over my land. If I installed a 10 Million gallon underground reservoir using a modular rainwater collection system it would collect most of the water during a heavy rain season, help irrigate my crops without putting strain on the system, and if I put in a few small ponds would help protect wildlife. Such a system would be comparable to the 13 Million gallon system you are talking about, and it’s something I honestly plan on having put it sometime in the future because the public water systems are not able to keep up with demand and I need to protect myself and my operations from the losses associated with drought.

            The way I am planning it is pretty simple: Construct underground filtration and collection pipes beneath my crops. After rain falls on my crops it would pass through the soil and collect in an artificial ground water system.

            So, taking my case as an example, what is the harm? Now, to take it further, what if I designed my system to have two overflow points? In a rainy season it would collect to the top, but in a dry season the collection would be set to overflow into the natural water table far beneath my land. Most of that water would never have reached the water table so doing so would protect my land against collapse while protecting neighbors from flooding and ensure I have enough water for my crops.

            What is the harm? Please cite your sources.

            EDIT: In desert climates people near rivers would grow melons as a convenient store of water that was also easy to transport. If he instead built a watermelon farm and then later extracted pure water from his watermelons it would probably be legal, but would have just as great of an impact on the water flow. Why does the type of water store matter?

          • Aliina Dee Jay-Represent

            A water butt and a pond is slightly different to 3 massive lakes / reservoirs with boats on!

          • Heath Meetis

            The article did also talk about the dams that this guy has to divert water and that he has in fact been doing so.

          • guestimate

            A pond or mini-lake system does create more environmental habitat, but also more surface area for evaporation, so that water goes back into the sky. Rainwater that is collected and used, is eventually discharged back into the environment.

          • Ncrdbl1

            Until it was struck down by the courts teh EPA attempted to make temporary standing water into wet lands. So if it rained hard and you had water standing in your front yard now your front yard would have been considered federal wet land.

          • sambacomet

            got citations for the court cases?

          • sambacomet

            Harrison’s dams caused his ponds to cover existing streams. The mountainous terrain in Jackson county Oregon is quite different than the Mississippi flood plane,I’ve lived in both. Your comparisons are only general and don;t address the specific case.

          • sambacomet

            and btw the photo at the top is not Harrington

          • sambacomet

            How many melons would itntake to equal 13 million gallons ?

          • sambacomet

            Rough estimate , 1 gallon per melon , 2000 per acre- probably on the high side- about 6.5 thousand acres . Don’t think Harrington has that much land

          • ozlanthos

            You are baking up the wrong tree there. There is also the question of what else uses the river, and for what purpose. Salmon and steelhead use the rivers to spawn in. A process which is messed up by putting dams on the rivers that have no means for the fish to get above them. I know this because the Amy Corp of Engineers built a lot of dams up here. None of which have a passive means for the fish to get over, or around the dams. All of which have caused the natural runs on the rivers they disrupt to collapse.

            You asked for evidence that lakes create problems? Now you know that they can. I believe the dams can also be made to make bigger runs than had previously existed, but there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of will to make that happen. I have talked to a lot of people about it, and it seems like there are 2 camps. One wants to remove the dams (and put the entire valley at risk of being flooded), and the other seems to want to kick the can down the road, and try band-aid fixes until the water demand of people has eclipsed any ecological concern.


          • Aliina Dee Jay-Represent

            I agree it’s misleading.

            He was using the water for his own personal gain and was given probation – he went against a court ruling after pleading guilty and now is in prison and rightly so – rivers are protected because of wildlife. Thousands of species of animals, mammals and plants depend on the natural flow of water.

          • AshenTech

            im sure no animals make use of the reservoirs/ponds/lakes on his property and im sure he dosnt let a single drop go down stream ever, right?

            im sure that if the govt gos in and blows up his dams and such that it will ensure that everybody downstream gets more water specially on long dry summers when the streams dry up, because a dry former pond/lake/wtfe is going to provide a much better buffer against drought for everybody 😉

          • sambacomet

            @ AshenTech you can generalize all you want , but the specifics are ,he set up dams so that existing streams did not get the water he trapped. He was not catching rainwater, which is legal. He could have built ponds on his property that did not disrupt riparian rights and habitat of those downstream , but he didn’t

          • Marilyn

            What about duh pics? Alluding his water was roof run-off. k.

          • sambacomet

            The pics are of different rain collection set ups somewhere , not at Harrington’s place And the picture of the guy with his head in his hands is not him. The headline and pics are intentionally misleading.

          • gerbilcrusader

            Did you say 20 yrs of liberalism like Obama’s anti american church going with Gerald Wright and his muslim upbringing? No wonder why you and other big government retards are brain dead! Water don’t belong to any government you moron.

          • sambacomet

            I didn’t say it had anything to do with rainwater collection -it has to do with mismanagement , that treats doesn’t consider downstream users ,and natural habitat to be as important as some humn’s interest in profit. Harrington wasn;t doing rainwater collection .

          • Marilyn

            And it so easy to just direct your rain gutters in to a bucket barrel, or like me: Ahhhhh Thousand Gallon Tank.

      • Frank Gilbert

        To compare what this man is doing to the L.A. basin is asinine………at beast!

      • capers2

        Once the pond is full…there is typically a spillway for overrun. It would be the same if a beaver had built a dam. The beaver has use of some of the water and water still flows downstream. Of course this concept is foreign to bureaucrats and liberals who have never set foot outside their condos…

        • ZeekDuff

          What the fuck does being a liberal have to do with it? You certainly seem to have understanding about nothing.

          • Anony_Mouse58

            Some people are just stupid.

          • gerbilcrusader

            Everything! Liberals are facist tyrrants and some of us are not part of the demoncrat and repubican dictatorship dumbass!

          • The Ronster

            I’ll rephrase it especially for you: …this concept is foreign to bureaucrats who have never existed outside of their office, anyone who has never lived in a rural area, or has no concept of dams, physics and/or lacks common sense.

          • The Ronster

            ‘ll rephrase it especially for you too: …this concept is foreign to bureaucrats who have never existed outside of their office, anyone who has never lived in a rural area, or has no concept of dams, physics and/or lacks common sense. Several engineering degrees trumps your snide remark. Liberal and fascist seem to be synonymous these days…

        • Virginia Nordberg

          I consider myself politically liberal yet I know all beavers, dams, and water flows. And I do not live in a condo. Scapegoating and name calling will not fix anything.

          • The Ronster

            see my above reply to zeekduff…

      • Merrill McCollum

        Dry concrete in waterways in California have nothing to do with the fact that Cali is a desert, right? It has nothing to do with the fact that Cali has no water of its own, right? Or that it’s population is unsustainable by its own resources, right? It all due to a guy collecting rain water, of course. Good grief.

        • sambacomet

          I said no such thing. I presented an example of waterways that have not been maintained in their natural state, preserving riparian rights and habitat. Socal is vastly overpopulated,and past water management practices that allowed that growth have been devastating. Look at what’s happening to Hoover dam- it;s not expected t ever return to previous levels and is silting out, down stream areas becoming infertile due soil becoming too saline, from water being held in reservoirs. Lake Powell has lost 8 million acre feet of water, and loses more than the whole state of Nevada’s allotment each year. Oregon’s water laws are designed to maintain the waterways in their natural state, and serve reasonable needs of humans and habitat . so such disaster don;t happen, through just assuming anyone can use the resource however they please with no concerned for secondary effects. Harrington was given 10 years to work it out. He plead guilty , then refused to meet the agreements he signed, and chose jail for drama. Probably paid off by wise use /sage brush fronts for big corps who want to be able to own all water resources.

          • Spinnerbait

            If I am remembering correctly CA has two desalination plants coming online in the next 3 years. These plants will produce several million gallons of fresh water per day. In fact I also read that CA is going to be selling water to AZ & NV. So they can refill there reservoirs.

          • David Mulloy

            You are spot on with Big Corporations owning water!!
            If you want to drink California Water, go to the store a buy a bottle of Disani!!
            Coca Cola is Shipping your water out as fast as nature can make it!!

          • Blacktiger

            NESTLE has been “stealing” water in BC because the stupid govt gives it to them for about a $1.25 per billion liters

          • ZeekDuff

            I think the point you’re missing is this guy was jailed for collecting rain & storing it in “reservoirs.” That would have zero effect on the Riparian Water Rights, since there is no stream or river involved. If you argue runoff goes into streams, you’d have to prove the water he collects would otherwise actually get into a stream somewhere. It appears it does not. Saying it might affect the water table below ground is also absurd, very little rain runoff gets into that table, if any. Around here (“drylands” farming country) more farmers want to drill water wells for irrigation & the water tables are getting too low to sustain unlimited use. There are limits to everything, mankind just has to figure out how to engineer sustainability in everything we consume or else. When everything is used up, we’ll just end. I’ve always felt earlier civilizations might have done just that, eaten themselves into extinction. Proof of that might be deep under desert sand, and perhaps someday, we’ll know about them, but meanwhile, we’d better start being smart about what we do to Mother Earth before she kills us.

          • Virginia

            But I think I read something about dams. The article said he was damming something. Would you dam a pond? It also said this has been going on for 10 years and that he was told and given probation. I don’t think he should be charged for collecting rain water but if he is damming something that feeds other sources of water, I can see the problem. Yes indeed we better get smart and take better care of the earth and get rid of greedy companies that cause us so much harm.

          • For My Liberty

            You aren’t from the Country are ya? what do you think keeps the water in a pond? That would be a dam. and the dam, has a culvert in it, which allows excess water to run out, so the pond won’t overfill and the damn burst. Ponds are built using ground that has a big ditch, & damming up the “back” side of the ditch.

          • ozlanthos

            Your blessed cement aquaducts (the LA River) are exactly what is going to happen to the Upper Willamette. Right now ODFW, and the Army Corp of Engineers are working to get rid of bass fishing in Oregon. What none of the sponge-heads involved seem to understand is that they are participating in the dooming of that river system.

            Because when they designed the dams, they did not bother to account for salmon and steelhead needing to get above where the dams were placed, the runs have been preserved by several bullshit means that invariably require people to help salmon do what they naturally do. This has put the runs under constant threat of the state simply giving up on maintaining them.

            In the process, some moron decided that Largemouth Bass are the problem and that they need to get rid of all “non-native warm water species”. Apparently someone is either really smart, or really stupid, because over the last 40 years, Largemouth Bass has become a far more prized fishery than the salmon and steelhead runs. So by killing off those bass fisheries, they not only have not brought the salmon and steelhead back, but they also got rid of at least one fishery (and are in the process of getting rid of a few others) that was drawing invaluable economic activity to this state. Now the ODFW has started a new round of increases on fishing licenses that is supposed to raise the price $5 every year for the next few years because of declining participation. So they are killing the reasons to fish in Oregon on one side, and charging us because of their failure to think/plan clearly on the other.

            All of this (imho) is part of a concerted effort to rob us of the water. Bass fishing was the biggest cash draw, and they are killing that off. Once bass fishing is gone, they will get rid of the salmon and steelhead runs, and stop planting trout. Then the fisheries will collapse, and they will be free to sell off the water without anyone left to complain about it….Just like they did with the LA river…


          • gerbilcrusader

            You can thank your borderless liberals and their illegal aliens for that! All the governments, courts and their police are corrupt tyrrants!

          • Jane Jessee

            And what has any of your liberal logic got to do with a man collecting RAIN WATER on his own property?????

        • RJ O’Guillory

          …we folks up here in Northern California have plenty of water, but it is shipped down south where all the “money” is…and where they sell a water permit to whores like Nestle for $500 bucks per year, but allow them to drain the aquifers and sell their bottled water with almost zero raw ingredient costs. Huge profits that are going into corrupt politician’s bank accounts. I say we drag every member of government in this country out of their offices by their hair, charge and convict them for treason…and start hanging them from lamp poles across the country.
          RJ O’Guillory

          • gerbilcrusader

            Anyone with a brain know there is no draught with the Pacific ocean and the ability to build more desaltinization plants. The Nazis in Sacramento and their enforcers need to be eliminated by hanging.

          • RJ O’Guillory

            …l always use the phrase…charge an convict for treason, and then hang…as that is the “legal process” and I cannot be charged with inciting a riot or felonious conduct. I do think the outcome should be the same though…
            RJ O’Guillory

          • Bruce_in_San_Jose

            And build more reservoirs!

          • JWU

            Thoughts from my own heart.

        • gerbilcrusader

          California are run by nazi liberals. There is no drought! We have the Pacific ocean and these commies are scamming the public by closing down nuclear plants and desaltinization water plants and not building new ones. Liberals and their nazi big government has always been the problem.

      • Ben Franklin

        He followed the rules, paid the money, and then got screwed. What am I missing? Nothing.

        • Kerry Day
          • obocaj

            Snopes is for Dopes and is nothing more than a Bullshit site feeding internet trolls “liberal-scented pretties”.

          • Kerry Day

            wow you even got a little rhyme there! I guess rather than like, silly facts, you rely on truthiness. The pride you seem to take in your ignorance and the aggressiveness with which you defend it is impressive, Sir!

      • 97E

        The dry concrete aqueducts in Los Angeles (and large parts of Central California) were dried out by the State of California. In some moronic bid to “save” a non-endangered feeder fish, the Delta Smelt, the state diverted trillions of gallons of fresh water into the ocean.

        Suddenly, there’s a drought! No, just more idiots in government.

      • Vickey Waldo

        That is the dumbest thing I have heard, collecting RAIN is not going to dry up anything. As for the dry concrete troughs in LA, You know nothing about the history of the LA River. It was prone to heavy flooding that was one reason why they poured concrete over the river. there have been talks of taking out the concrete. Anyway, that is another story, and has Nothing to do with collecting rain water, It just comes down to plain GREED

        • gerbilcrusader

          You will only have high blood pressure like me trying to reason with liberal facists brain dead WALKING ZOMBIES! Liberalism is a mental disorder. Dr. Michael Savage made a correct examination of their mental condition. Don’t destroy your health by debating or spending time with liberal big government nazis or islamists!

      • Gaz

        Then how is it Nestlé can get away with illegally bottling water.

        • bosunj

          Different state.

      • RJ O’Guillory

        …do you need some new knee pads? I presume you suck so much corrupt government cock that you may be on your knees a lot? How about a new pair of knee pads to help with those creaky old knees of yours…perhaps then you can bend over and take it up your ass from these traitors….GFY…
        RJ O’Guillory

        • Daniel

          LOL! You again?! Same hateful, self promoting drivel. Literally everything you say is your pathetic attempt at making an American Dollar ( heavy sexual puns come standard, why exactly? ). You are a joke sir. Bat.Shit.Crazy. Joke.

      • gerbilcrusader

        The courts and pigs are full of thugs! You are a brainwashed moron!

    • cannotvote

      So, water flowing in the aquifer, from state to state – should be a taxable event?

    • Betsy Raus

      I don’t care a twit about the law. The law is being abused and taken out of context…as is usual in this nation. Common sense, the reasonable man standard, the generally accepted practice…natural right…all tells me the rain is owned by NOBODY but once it falls on your land it is YOURS. But you try and get lawyers to use common sense. That’s why the nation is in a damned mess. We keep electing lawyers to Congress instead of actual everyday people who ‘get it’.

  • Jakob Stagg

    All the best of Nanny Land. What’s next? Execution for drinking a glass of water in California?

  • blackhawk132

    Welcome to O ban nut’s new made America. Hillary will finish his destruction of America.

    • Steven Burgas

      Hey, smooth-brain, STFU before you get hurt.

    • ambaryerno

      Obama: Now using TIME TRAVEL to pass laws in 1925.

      Illiterate moron.

      • JezziJaymes

        Exactly! blame it all on Obama who wasn’t even alive in 1925.

        • LaBee

          And the “US Government”, even though this mostly about a city ordinance, apparently.

          Just some BS click bait.

          • DOCS

            “Them fancy-pants city slickers from the gubmint’ is the debil!”

        • Sherri Smith-Watson

          I am utterly amazed that there are people in this country who are so blind that they still support Obama, no matter what evil he is up to. Are you ignorant or is the Kool Aid really that good? OK, he didn’t have anything to do with this situation, but how can you still support him?

          • l’Augure3VI

            And what evil is he up to and what does he have to do with this exaggerated story?

      • jen

        And how is this evil Obamas fault

    • Mik

      this goofy comment has zero to do with the news article posted

    • James Ezell

      gotta love the mental midgets at least he didn’t use the catch-all phrase Libtards so that’s a plus for him. Too bad he is already -5

    • asmith1234

      Blackhawk, I can’t stand AKA (Obama) any more than you can, however, as conservatives, we’re also to blame. When we allow those with an R on their cap, to do just the same as the communist/socialists, we’re actually approving of the methods. Too often, if a politician with an R on their cap will pull these same agendas, we look the other way. We only scream when it’s a dem that’s doing the same and violating the Constitution. I’ll give you an example. Conservatives are screaming about common core and blaming AKA. However, if you do ed reform research, this common core really started with ed reform and was approved by Republicans. Common Core is the fruit of the ed reform that Republicans approved of. Bush is the one that brought us back into UNESCO which is a division under the UN that covers global education. As Republicans, we need to clean house first before we get anywhere and bring our country back and force government to once again operate under the chains that the Constitution binds government.

      • blackhawk132

        I fully agree with you . We have way to many sob sister rino republicans but even one of them is preferable to a demo-rat.

        • asmith1234

          Blackhawk, You wrote: “even one of them is preferable to a demo-rat”
          I’ve spent a long time thinking about this and the whole ‘lessor of two evils’ thing. I really don’t agree, in fact, I think the phony Republicans are even more dangerous than the dems to our freedom. A known enemy doesn’t have the ability to get close enough to you to plant the knife in your back. Not only do these phony Republicans have the same agenda as the dems, but they’re able to get away with their unconstitutional stuff because Republicans keep their mouth shut, unlike, if a dem is doing the same. The only difference between the phony Republicans and the dems is the speed with which they want to drive us over the cliff. A dem doesn’t mind taking us over the cliff at 100 mph, whereas, a phony R will take us over at 75. Same train track, just a different colored cap on the conductor. Worse, the phony Rs divide the Republicans that will support even a cad, just because he/she wears the R on their cap, from the real conservatives. I’m convinced, by voting for the lessor of two evils, conservatives have committed a slow suicide. When you compromise core beliefs and standards, the only direction you’re going to go is downhill. As for me, I will never again vote for the lessor of two evils because it’s still a vote for evil. Sadly, it’s started to look like the two parties are just the same as two different colored wolf packs fighting over who gets to eat the prey. That’s us.

          • Ben Childs

            If you believe the Republicans are worse than Democrats, you haven’t studied history especially when it comes to violating the Constitution.

          • Tom Mahan

            We already need a major third party to check and balance the other two. Libertarians are too radical. I’m against entitlements when there are good paying jobs that can provide a family a living. Create the jobs first, put people to work, then cut out as many entitlements as possible. It seems very few have any common sense these days.

            Back on the topic lol. Once a resivour is full, it will return the excess rainwater to the stream. There is always an overflow pipe to protect the dam. If his property is the only source of streams, the city has a serious water problem and they need another source of water. It just seems to me that someone with a little authority can’t resist abusing it to justify having a position that is unnecessary in the first place.

  • txgray

    If the government owns the rainwater they should pay the landowners a fee for using their land for a transport system.

    • jw


    • Hypocrisissy

      Ha! Just ask Native Americans about getting what’s owed them for their mineral rights…

      • Max Blood

        how about no and fuck off?

        • angf117

          yep i agree fuckoff hypocrissy!

          • Missy Victoria

            Hypocrisissy makes a valid point and you tell him to fuck off? Hence, what is wrong w America.

          • Anony_Mouse58

            Exactly. Thank you!

          • Missy Victoria

            Nothing to be proud of.. but, at least you admitted to being an idiot. Thats a rarity. Thank you.. quite refreshing.

          • Fred Marsico

            Are you to be held accountable for the actions of your ancestors? I didn’t own slaves, I didn’t kill anyone to steal their lands and neither did any of my ancestors. They came here for opportunity and freedom, not to change America and get free stuff.

            Wake up and stand up for liberty and not the divisive rhetoric by the government controlled media. The system of governance created by the Founders and Framers was to serve the States and We the People, not be our masters and enslave us.

          • Missy Victoria

            Of course not. I never owned slaves, either. I had a great-great-great uncle that owned quite a few slaves in the deep South (Alabama).. and he treated them very well. In fact, when he had to set them free, most did not want to leave.. but, he was obligated to make them go. He taught each head of household how to write their name (Curry) which he had given them. He taught them farming skills.. etc. He also set each of them up w a buckboard and a couple of animals to pull them.

          • Kevin Holmes

            you are whats wrong with the world… you think you are mericun and that gives you some sort of extra rights worldwide… Well billions disagree and i hope you see it in your short lifetime here….

          • Austin James Johnson

            You are actually what is wrong with the world, anyone that thinks like you is a detriment to any society.

          • parkerglp

            Kevin, you weren’t there and I wasn’t there. However, obviously you have grown up with the victim mentality. I have traveled thru many Indian communities, sang at the Miss Indian American pageant in Glasgow, MT, have talked and shared stories with many native Americans! AND, I have seen some that are great people and have made something of themselves! AND, I have seen the ones that, like many blacks, want to sit back and bitch and moan about something that happened to their ancestors instead of making something of themselves! I have seen Indians who have got Masters degrees on the ‘White Man’s money!’ AND they end up drunks in a shack! So, get out of the bar, make something of yourself, and knock off the victim mentality!!!

          • Paul Abruzzo


          • Kevin Holmes

            gone through your posts, looks like you are a racist hater … You have far more hater posts than good honest truths… your little picture changes nothing… you will always be a hater….

        • Kevin Holmes

          how about yes and take your sorry ass back to Europe where you people come from… Everything was fine here for thousands of years before you “discovered” north and south america… you fucking bigot

          • For My Liberty

            Where do you think Native Americans origionally came from? BTW….Easy to tell you are a lib….first thing people like you do…Is call those that disagree with you, names…

          • Jeff Staples

            The word NATIVE should give you a hint as to where they came from, son.

          • registan

            They are not Native to America. They came from Asia. Get some history.

          • jeffreytrvlr

            but migrated up from Africa before that, started with Adam and Steve..uh, EVE! sry 😉

          • Kevin Holmes

            What matter is it that I am a liberal… I am Native American and have my whole life watched as white folk trample on the rights of Native Americans…… I see whole families living in thin tin housing.. That’s the legacy of white people who have gotten too big for their britches… You white folk have taken native americans made them walk across the country into unfamiliar arid land and say here you are this is what we give you survive on it or die… So yes I am more than a little pissed of at bigots like you saying i am European if I look back far enough… Take your stuff and GTFO the party is over and long overdue…..

          • DAVELOY

            White folks did the same to white folks, indians did the same thing to indians, blacks did the same thing to black folks, get over it yer not special.

          • Kevin Holmes

            nobody has ever commited genocide like what has happened in the Americas… 100 000 000 Native Americans were slaughtered by Europeans… tell me again how white people did that to white people…

          • DAVELOY

            You best go back and learn history.

          • Patrick

            No, I believe it’s YOU who failed the history test here, son.

          • DAVELOY

            Lol, “son?” I s’pose the millions of Jews, or the ethnic cleansing in Russia, or nearly wipin out the Irish don’t count? No, YOU need to learn yer history, “son!”

          • Patrick

            Well aren’t YOU all clever and folksy! “best go back” “s’pose” “yer” “wipin” Oh, and did I call you “son”? -Damned autocorrect! I meant: “Ignorant cunt”

          • jeffreytrvlr

            lol, glad you got that fixed 🙂 this conversation gut ugly and way off topic….moving on

          • Dean Anniballi

            Really? You can’t disagree without being a jerk? Maybe you should take some anger management classes.

          • Pharmer1

            oh, another flaming leftist is here to “elevate” the conversation 😉

          • Kevin Holmes
          • Kevin Holmes
          • Jim Tuggle


          • Kevin Holmes
          • Human #583452863

            100 million is misleading though when berating us ‘muricans, as that is the generous Estimate of natives in alll of North AND South America. High end estimates by researchers/historians put north america alone at 18 million but possibly as low as 3 million. So yah, Hitler is still worse than us. Your people lost and the whiteys are the ones that took it. Tough luck, and when china comes and does it to us, you and yours aren’t going to get any special treatment, you’ll be working the mines with the rest of us.

          • Zach Hammill

            You’re a fuckin crybaby pussy. It’s a no wonder why your ancestors got stomped out.

          • Diane Keller

            Kevin, what you are dealing with here, are a bunch of asswipe little trolls who get their rocks off baiting people. They sit behind a keyboard diddling themselves, and have to wipe their keyboards clean of their drool (and other bodily fluids) every so often so they can continue to act all tough in their anonymity. Don’t feed them, and don’t try to educate them. May I suggest blocking them?

          • Kevin Holmes

            I am getting your point… It’s just so sad that people believe you can kick people off their land, promise to help them, don’t follow the treaties. People like these just make me sad… can you add me as a friend?

          • Kevin Holmes

            have a read… remember smallpox was given to native americans on blankets and other trade goods… the blankets were given with the infection
            these were given on purpose to cull the native Americans who by far out-numbered white people… and cull they did… all the way down to less than a million… Don’t tell me that I am full of shit…. do your own research… this is a good place to start

          • Joanne Barac

            Holocaust by Nazi to Jews and others whites

          • Kevin Holmes

            yes because 6 million Jews is by far much more people than 100 million natives

          • dentabill

            100 million, a number he pulled out of his ass again

          • John_Doe12

            WW2 6 million between Hitler & Stalin

          • Kevin Holmes

            yeah John_Doe12
            6 million is a lot more people than 100 million SMH

          • Jim Fox

            270 million killed in Islamic conquest over 1400 yrs- and still it continues.

          • Kevin Holmes

            I am sorry that my information was not entirely true… That truly is a number beyond comprehension… I do maintain my statements are correct and that White people had slaughtered many many millions during those places in time… I can also see there was a population trying to remove native americans that still continues also

          • Richard Lee Cooper

            Kevin, how did you escape the ethnic cleansing?

          • dentabill

            And red people used to cut scalps off human beings for trophies, so maybe they needed killing. Maybe the modern world didnt have room for that bullshit.

          • Slater Nazi

            Wasn’t it French soldiers who started that ‘tradition’?

          • dentabill

            there were never, ever 100 million people in all the Americas period. At best, there may have been ten million. You just pull numbers out of your ass.

          • Kevin Holmes

            So you would be ok if there was a native american uprising and made white people to walk across the country and make them settle on useless land and left you to try to making a life for yourself… please don’t pretend that killing 100 million native americans with blankets riddled with smallpox causing very large death from a disease willfully used to infect all the native americans… don’t brush it off… that’s more than the number of people killed in world war I and world II combined… So yeah that’s genocide and it was your ancestors that did this crime against humanity… don’t you dare pretend that this was OK one white man gets killed and an entire village is destroyed… know your history you stupid ass punk

          • Cobra

            again not that killing and stealing land from others is right, but if your people find a way to overtake america you will do it…just like we know America is alway at risk of some other country taking us over…that is why we have a military…your bitter because your people lost the war…i would as well if it happens to us

          • Mark Keating

            That will never happen

          • King Umbarrii

            I have indian blood. If all races that were here before 1491
            were to vanish they would all die. It would never be the same.
            Too much knowledge has died.
            Yes I have indian blood but I am a VERY PROUD white man.

          • dboutin

            I am a proud patriot American, my skin color has nothing to do with it,I am half Native Indian and half Irish..but I am an American first..

          • Jim Tuggle

            first let’s see some proof of there being 100 million ‘natives’ in the country in those times

          • big pop

            troll bye

          • Jim Fox

            Highly unlikely. Besides the greatest genocide in human history was the Islamic conquests in which historians estimate 270 MILLION were slaughtered- and it continues today.

          • King Umbarrii

            We must implement the final solution to the Islamic question.

          • Ben

            It’s about to happen again.

          • Sonny Raze

            he population figure for indigenous peoples in the Americas before the 1492 voyage of Christopher Columbus
            has proven difficult to establish. Scholars rely on archaeological data
            and written records from settlers from the Old World. Most scholars
            writing at the end of the 19th century estimated the pre-Columbian
            population as low as 10 million; by the end of the 20th century most
            scholars gravitate to a middle estimate of around 50 million, with some
            historians arguing for 100 million or more.[1] Contact with the New World led to the European colonization of the Americas, in which millions of immigrants from the Old World eventually settled in the New World.

          • King Umbarrii

            So no body knows………………………

          • privatechaos

            There were at least that many when the Conquistadors arrived. You need to learn how to read if you haven’t heard this bit of History. When the Brits encountered resistance from Native Americans, they murdered them using germ warfare and as a result we had a mere fraction left by the time the United States was formed.

          • justjan

            That was 100 years ago. How long are you going to hang onto it? No one who was involved in all of this are still alive so who would you like to take to task. AND, I’m more than sure you weren’t there either.

          • Rod

            Thats not the point.Your government made treaties and did not uphold them.

          • Patrick Richardson

            It’s called “right of conquest” so yes, if you native americans (I was born here too, idiot) can get enough of you together, and can kill us all or force us to move, I’m good with that. I wish you luck. But I’m good with it.

            Oh, and you really REALLY need to not be telling people to “know your history” when yours is so badly skewed.

          • Dean Anniballi

            Seriously? You still believe the smallpox blanket hoax? Think about it, there was no vaccine for smallpox, so if soldiers were handing out smallpox infested blankets, they would have contracted smallpox, as well. If you think you’re the only one that has had bad things happen in his family’s history, you’re not too bright. Most of us just move forward, rather than wallow in the past. Time to put on some big boy pants and make your life count for something, in spite of what may have happened to your ancestors.

          • King Umbarrii

            I believe it. Get an education.

          • Dean Anniballi

            You believe it because you’ve been conditioned to believe it, and you want to believe it, not because it can be supported by facts. Again, how is it the soldiers handing out small pox blankets did not contract small pox themselves? Do you think they had them sealed in plastic bags? Suspend your belief system for a few minutes, and think how the soldiers could prevent contracting the disease themselves. If you are intellectually honest with yourself, you’ll realize it couldn’t have occurred as you’ve been taught. BTW, quit telling everyone you disagree with to ‘get an education’. You don’t have any knowledge of the education levels of anyone commenting here, and your need to insult those you disagree with is generally an indication that deep down, you know you’re wrong.

          • privatechaos

            How’s this? GET AN EDUCATION!!!

          • privatechaos

            HA ha ha ha “hoax” You’re addressing a Native American and putting forth a BS lie just because you think s/he is stupid, well I’m not stupid, and I’m calling your BS, and here is a lesson for you: not everyone died from smallpox, those that lived were immune, and many people were immune because they milked cows. So don’t put forth such stupid lies.

          • Kevin Holmes

            it is not a hoax… It has been noted everywhere… just because you don’t believe it doesn’t make it a hoax… google smallpox blankets… the reason white people never died from it was because they were basically immune… Native Americans had not seen it before and it almost always resulted in death… do your research and try not to look stupid as you pull your words out of your ass….

          • Dean Anniballi

            So I’m stupid because I disagree with you? Well, lucky you for being the smartest person in the room. BTW, just so you know, I’m Native American.

          • Edith Wherton

            Whites immune to smallpox? Really? I suggest you contact an epidemiologist before you use that as a reason. Never go into battle without the proper ammunition for the weapon. Do your research. . That said… sad as it is to you….whites are there to stay. Personally speaking.. I left. And its not all bad….. we did bring the wheel and the horse Never understood how you got the concept of the circle but not the wheel. Unless its just part of the culture to make your women drag stuff around.

          • King Umbarrii

            It is the facts get over it,

          • JD

            100 million, lol. The number gets bigger every time I hear it. The Europeans came and started settling. They traded and bartered with Indians. Some Indians were violent and murdered quite a few of them. As the Europeans multiplied they actually paid the Indians for land that the Indians claimed to be their territory. Disputes arose, agreements were broken and wrongs were done on both sides. In the end the Europeans brought bigger guns and began implementing their will more and more. There we have the history of early American development. There we have a similar history to the ways of the whole world. Were wrongs done? Of course. They certainly were not done to you and no one in this country is holding back Native Americans from prosperity and success.
            The only ones still suffering from this are those who are deceived by Satan to carry around a root of bitterness and an entitlement mentality.

          • Pharmer1

            Yep, Kev, you’re a liberal. We can tell because you are unfamiliar with population demographics and with simple math. Most of the people now living in the U.S. have Zero to do with the disposition of the preceding immigrants from Asia, now called ‘native Americans’. Therefore, trying to extract apologies is not useful, and is inappropriate. I recommend that if you wish to practice bigotry, and say “you white people” to unfamiliar people of undetermined racial background, then you should ditch the white boy name.

          • riceski

            Kevin – I’m Blackfeet and I just want you to know the fact. The fact is t wasn’t Americans who introduced the ill fated blankets it was Europeans as it was done long before there was an America. Just so you know friend.

          • Kevin Holmes

            I agree with that… the country did become America though and with the naming of a new country native americans were still persecuted then and it continues today…

          • JakeDP

            Was 5 million until Soros put his money into leftist revisionism. Not 100 million dummy.

          • Ben

            This is what is referred to as natural selection. The weak being conquered by the strong. The people of Europe and Asia have endured this for countless centuries. I don’t know what makes you think you’re any different. People are people, just some more technologically advanced than others. Technology and the willingness to use it to make one’s self stronger is what causes the rise and fall of empires. Bitching about it doesn’t help.

          • Kevin Holmes

            no we aren’t special we are just the results of American greed… read up on it then get back to me with your argument telling me this wasn’t the worse case of genocide in human history… don’t tell me I need to get over it… our rivers on our lands are full of radiation and this has been going on for 50 years… No one minds that uranium mining has spoiled the waterways… And you tell me to get over it? you are a special kind of stupid. Ignorance can be fixed with education but stupid is forever

          • Cobra

            you could not defend your country…white man developed guns and overpowered Natives, disease of Europeans took there toll on your people since new disease were introduced that your people could not overcome …other countries also lost therir war and land when some country invented way to get an advantage in war

          • Diane Keller

            The fact that you are okay with this makes you a worthless piece of shit.

          • Jim Fox

            It is a statement of FACT. NO-one has to agree or like it- it’s just a fact.

          • King Umbarrii

            Keller is a liberal.

          • Cobra

            I never said it was right but this is what losing your war with another country or religion has meant throughout all of time…this is why all countries have a military…to try to protect what is theirs….Natives have stolen land from other natives… I have never agreed war is morally right, just that this is how humans have behaved, so if you have some thing others want, you must defend forever

          • dentabill

            Dumbass, nobody alive today had anything to do with any of the events you are complaining about. Most modern Americans don’t even know they happened.

            You DO need to get over it. Its in the past, it cant be changed, and nobody alive today had diddley squat to do with it.

          • Mark Keating

            What water do you drink

          • Dean Anniballi

            So native Americans didn’t wage war against each other? They didn’t kill other native Americans? Wow, just wow.

          • Kevin Holmes

            Don’t put words in my mouth I said nothing like that… there is bad blood in all civilizations and always will be….

          • mbala

            it seems that it’s so easy for people to tell you to “get over it” when they don’t have to live with the continuing consequences (the radiation , the poor housing and healthcare etc that are direct results of being shunted unto “reservations” and treated as less than human ) i must say that i don’t like the name calling and insults – from you and those responding to you ;we really need to be more civil with each other – but i understand your anger and america as a nation needs to acknowledge the injustice done to your people and try to do more to make up for it …peace

          • djphoenix

            Time to read the Iroquois Constitution. Ben Franklin borrowed several items from it while the major documents of the USofA were being formulated. Originally, 5 separate Tribes adopted the Iroquois Constitution. Eventually, a sixth Tribe entered into the agreement. The Iroquois Confederacy was created as a form of protection against larger, stronger Tribes which raided the smaller Tribes and took what they wanted.

          • big pop

            and get out of africa taking our natural resources their bitch!! everywhere you go you destroy!!

          • Cobra

            is this any different that any country in the past that lost their war and were overtaken by another country… your people could not defend your country and were over taken …wars suck

          • Kevin Holmes
          • BelieverInLiberty

            Kevin I am not Native American but I am a White American. I do agree with what you say accept for blaming your troubles on the white man. Yes it was the white man in charge but they were white politicians. The Native American were / are the worst treated American’s, period. Don’t blame it all on the white folks. Your problem is in Washington DC. But you just watch,,,,, what DC did to your people they are now doing it to their own. And most of the White people don’t even see it.

          • jeffreytrvlr


          • Jim Tuggle

            That is more your people’s doing than mine. I have gone on reservation lands to estimate the costs to rehabilitate housing…nice housing at that, where the copper wire, copper water pipes, etc. were ripped out by the tribal members and sold for scrap.

          • Michael Alan Smith

            You’re a dipshit

          • Dan Mooar

            That was the price your people paid for believing the Fed would take care of you and them. Many whites are now learning the lesson taught to the Indian decades ago. The government will take what it wants and give you the discards and the trash, and then make you pay for it.

          • Lawrence Purinton

            My ancestors on my father’s side date back to the nearly the start of America for white people. They risked their lives doing so back then as did many people from many other countries. They were escaping persecution, poverty, etc.

            If there are people who I feel have been given a raw deal, the American Indians have always on the top of my list. Our government during those times did everything it could to oblite

          • Bob Estes

            Maybe you should be put behind bars for crying a river.

          • JakeDP

            Looking more white than injun bub.

          • Kmon

            Holmes comes from Ireland

          • Kevin Holmes

            actually great british close to scottland It doesn’t matter where my name comes from what has it to do with this forum

          • Kmon

            In fact Kevin Holmes is a very Irish name. So make sure you don’t discount all YOUR ancestors

          • JudeM47

            …..says the man calling names

          • royinoregon

            You call others ‘bigot’ and then say you white people over and over again. Do you know the meaning of bigot? It does not mean, ‘person I disagree with’. You act like the bigot.

          • big pop


          • renee

            you know i’ve read through this entire thread and it’s gone from a state trying to own the rain to another, name calling everything. people bitter because of this or that. sounds pretty much like the blacks today because no one cares and the white people keep shooting them…wah, wah, wah. where’s the news of black on white, more the black on black? no where. all this crap about who was here first and who did what to who is like the slavery crap and all the confederate monuments need to come down, so and so owned slaves, wah, wah, wah. yes i say build a bridge, get over ir and go on with your life today, all of the slave issues, the native american vs europeans issues, they are all hundreds of years in the past. i’m from America, that’s me. plain old American. i might even be a mutt, indian, irish, french, english, german. i don’t hyphenate…take to long to say. if you’re not 1st generation born don’t hyphenate, you’re AMERICAN. and how did it get to race and all this other bullshit from a state trying to own rain water…that right there is the stupid issue people should be complaining about. get back to the issue at hand everyone….no wonder our country is all fucked up..we can’t stay on one topic to discuss it.

          • Kevin Holmes

            You know you are right that this is way off topic…. You wan’t to build bridges… Why is it the native americans responsibility to build these bridges… why don’t you start that it’s a good idea

          • dentabill

            we did. we gave you casinos.

          • Noel

            Racist bigots like you Kevin Holmes, have no place in modern society. The bottom line is that if Europeans had not settled the continental United States, Russia, China or Arabs or some other “foreign” country would have. The Native Americans act like the petulant child and certainly cannot understand that this country is better off now. If you don’t agree with that, then by all means, go fuck yourself.

          • Kevin Holmes

            go tell that to the Native Americans that have to drink radioactive water for the last 50 years… Or is your compassion filter clogged up?

          • dentabill

            if you drank radioactive water for 50 years you’d all be bald and cancer-ridden. get the fuck over your ridiculous lies and exaggerations.

          • JakeDP

            We take our technology and see how you survive. When you all die like flies we will come back. Enjoy the quiet.

      • icky TeQ

        Sure, they need more beer money.

      • Duende Brooks

        yeah lets ask them

        Paraguay, South America 1600

        • jeffreytrvlr

          quite fluent in Latin too I see 🙂

      • Duende Brooks

        lets ask the real Indians about land and their identity and why the mongoloids descendants and whites trying to be the the real Americans

        • jeffreytrvlr

          Mongolians, slightly different genetic chain you went down, lol

    • AshenTech

      hey thats an idea, somebody should sue…lol

    • Maria Hammarström

      Well said!

    • caine

      No shit

    • Pontious Pirate

      Additionally if the gov owns the water and the rain floods and damages your property I assume you can sue the gov for allowing their property to damages yours’

      • TheeLynnChase

        That’s a good one.

      • parkerglp

        I just said the same thing to my son! Exactly right. Kind of like your sidewalk in front of your house. You have to clear it because the city owns it, but if someone falls and hurts themselves on it, suddenly YOU own it!!

    • Donna Nichols

      Yeah, and when it floods your property and home, the State should be liable for cleaning up and repairs! A few lawsuits for that aught to put a stop to those laws! I just shake my head at all the shenanigans that the People’s Republic of Oregon pull!

      • jeffreytrvlr

        dang republicans!

    • da Palani

      Yes, send his ass to jail- Hoarding water starves the tributaries which starves the river, which starves the animals and people – millions who depend on these rivers –
      Use some common sense.
      Collecting water in places like Hawaii for home use is totally legal because they lack fresh water.
      But this guy is a threat to the ecosystem- especially with copycats taking more water.

      • John

        Send your ass to jail for being a fuckwit.. if the water falls on his land, it should be his.. no one is getting starved by four fucking barrels of water, moron….

        • da Palani

          No John the guy hoarded 13 Million gallons of water. This is not a barrel collection, this is a large reservoir, which he had no permits for.
          John, I travel all over America and it’s not okay to call people morons and “Fukwits” and nothing pisses me off more than cyber bullies…
          If you would like to meet in a Mixed Marital Arts Cage and fight like a real man,
          please by all means just post the state and nearest city you live. When I’m in the area I will post some possible sanctioned fight locations here and gladly put up my half of the money for a ring & referee and await your response. But in the meantime – read the real story and educate yourself –

          • For My Liberty

            Hey IDIOT….it’s called PONDS and LAKES…and guess what? Once filled….excess runs OUT….

          • da Palani

            “No” you don’t just “make a pond or lake” – you are inviting
            mosquitoes to breed, you can contaminate ground water with seepage if
            not properly lined, a breach can create a deadly flash flood, any
            Southern to Gulf property would invite alligators and snakes, close to
            population it becomes a drowning risk, and any pond will disrupt the
            natural ecosystem of any given area….
            And! ponds need to be fed more
            water – you have increased the surface area to air and land increasing
            evaporation and absorption- the river will “always” have less water after that. You are STEALING from the source. Anyone
            down hill is getting less water.
            Anyone with a brain is saying “duh”, and is very glad you’re not their neighbor please move to Mexico before the wall is built.

          • DAVELOY

            You better go find yer “safe room.” Ponds don’t cause flash floods, skeeters can be controlled,ground water is just that, ground water, evaporation? LOL, I’m gonna just guess, a city boy?

          • da Palani

            Daveloy: First read the real story:
            This is not a pond – it is a man made reservoir at elevation.
            There are countless deaths and towns that have been destroyed by man-made reservoirs.
            See this link
            This guy is not an engineer, he has no understanding of the soil tolerance for saturation.
            Saturation is when the dirt turns to quicksand, at this point it will give at the weakest point and 13 million gallons of water is coming down the mountain.
            He also has no release system for overfill from major rain storms which can breach and wash out dams.
            This is just dumb beyond dumb. With no regard for the safety of others or the ecosystems he’s destroying.
            Glad he is is jail and I hope the land is returned to it’s original beauty.
            Not that it matters but I am very much from the country, my graduating class barely cleared 100. Still I mustered up the brains to graduate with honors from college.
            Also, this guy had the freedom to get proper permits and build a safe reservoir, but he chose to ignore common sense. And because of selfish people like him, we need laws to protect the “freedom and livelihood” of everyone who is unfortunate enough to live anywhere near this guy.

          • DAVELOY

            Wrong, we don’t need more laws tellin us what to do on our own property, you’ve lost sight of what a free country should be.

          • 2197_uxo_1

            Again what is the difference between a natural pond and an unnarural pond? How does contamination not seep from a natural pond? The liner that naturally is in it?

          • parkerglp

            So it is OK for the government to build hundreds of thousands of lakes and ponds, but not for us ‘stupid folks’ to do it???

          • Kevin Holmes

            The government should have no say in what water falls onto private property… want to save water? Go tell Nestle and other corporations to get their fat hands off of the Millions and millions of gallons of water then sell back to us with a profit of 2000% what they paid to get it….

          • John

            Really?? That’s the response of your tiny little cro-magnon mind, to seek me out and try to lay down a beating because I said a few words?? How does it feel to be so weak-minded that you want to fight because of stupid shit like that?? You ARE a moron, and a fuckwit to boot… But sure.. come on down.. come to my house and try your neanderthal threats… You’ll end up on a slab if you try to assault me….

          • da Palani

            John- legally, you have already verbally assaulted me… and your post is a clearly violation of the use of this site.
            I have no interest in assaulting you, I am letting the world know that you’re a gutless punk by challenging you to a legally sanctioned competition but your butt is glued to a chair so it’s best you stay put.
            And “No” you don’t just “make a pond or lake” – you are inviting mosquitoes to breed, you can contaminate ground water with seepage if not properly lined, a breach can create a deadly flash flood, any Southern to Gulf property would invite alligators and snakes, close to population it becomes a drowning risk, and any pond will disrupt the natural ecosystem of any given area….
            And ponds need to be fed more water – you have increased the surface area to air and land increasing evaporation and absorption. You are STEALING from the source. Anyone down hill is getting less water.

          • John

            Incorrect, asshole.. you are the first one threatening violence… I simply responded to your threat in letting you know I would defend myself…. so yeah, go fuck yourself, .. piece of shits like you amuse me

          • da Palani

            Verbal assault is assault. It is also defamation of character and since you’re too gutless to stand up in legal competition, I’ll go the other route. You’ve accumulated quite an online history “John”, and I was more than happy to forward that history to Federal authorities who took a surprised interest in the information. Have a nice day !

          • 2197_uxo_1

            Your attempt at legal knowledge would be humorous if you were not so blatantly wrong.

          • heyj0e

            yeah because the feds have nothing better to do than get involved in your internet flame war. do you realize what an idiot you sound like?

          • Patrick

            “fight like a real man” -what a moronic Fuckwit!

          • 2197_uxo_1

            Why do I or anyone else need permits to collect rain water on our own property?

          • Hettie

            Oh grow up! Stick sand stones may break your bones but names will never hurt you…. an auld Scottish saying…lol

          • Lyn Gray

            I think you mean Mixed Martial Arts Cage – Marital pertains to marriage unless you are referring to husband and wife fighting

          • Slater Nazi

            Maybe he meant to say, ‘Bite the pillow, and take it like a man.’

          • parkerglp

            Mixed Marital Arts Cage??? Maybe you should learn to spell so someone takes you seriously! And he had permits, but the government SOBs decided to revoke them…probably for some of their friends!

      • Hettie

        You need to actually read the article…He is not diverting any water!

    • Joe_Pug_Jr

      Dam right!

    • Dane Ann Smith-Johnsen

      I love the way you’re thinking on this one!

    • JimBob


    • King Umbarrii

      And temporary storage.of their property.

  • Jenny Emilie Myhre Mortensen

    If americans didn’t fight this, there would be no hope left for americans. This case proves humanity in a country as usa (the country considered to be of evil and that everyone don’t wanna meddle with because it’s beyond hope since people most do not care about their fellow mannkind there… *yup*).
    More people should band together against the injust and do what is right. Mindless sheep time should not be acted out any longer… people chose what they wanna be. Change is never easy, but it is easy to be apathich….

  • RM

    the people down there need to go to the OFFICE of who started this and protest until that person IS FIRED ..Put the fear of God into them.Be sure to send to EVERY liberal dem you know…tell them you cant blame a republican can you…30 years of dem leading this state into hell

    • Steven Burgas

      Yeah, you show ’em who is boss, you drooling mouth-breather!

  • greenlady0

    This is the same govt that is charging for rainwater/storm sewer fees in some communities really people!!!! It is time for the citizens to relieve the bureaucrats from their posts!

    • bosunj

      Or anything above the neck. Hey, I’m not sayin’ – I’m just sayin’.

  • Alfredo C. Henriquez

    All this is. .. power… control. And Money… we are getting charge. For everything. . Wait . Some day. Thr very same air we breathe. . Is gonna have a price. And u still gonnna need a license for it! !!.. what constitution. . What freedom. . It is all make believe

    • Suomy Nona

      you sir are a bit behind the times.
      the air we breathe already has a price, it is called the “carbon emissions tax” which is applied to emissions of CO2 -the gas you breathe out, the same gas that trees require to produce oxygen for us to breathe in

  • Frank

    This article should have been illustrated with the man’s 3 ponds holding 13,000,000 gallons of water–not photos that implied a jail sentence for collecting rain water in barrels.

    • Donald Miller

      well then you post that pic…..13 million gallons and you say you have seen a pic of them….excellent…..we are waiting

      • Cal

        Google earth. It’s pretty easy to see the environmental impact he’s had. This guy is pretty destructive and the county has been very patient with him.

        • crackersinc

          quit talking and post the connection if you wont shut the heel up, and crawl back under your rock. Your the one destructive. i would also venture to guess that the ponds he has are not totally blocked off or their would be one major problem his whole land would be flooded. Also Ponds are different than dams they are not feed my creeks. Dams are feed by rivers I think you need to study what a pond and dams are.

          • Cal

            Wow. Remember buddy, friends don’t let friends post drunk. Go look for yourself when you sober up. It took me about 3 minutes to find it last time.

  • bill

    this article is full of shit. most water rights laws have been around since the 19th century, and the guy clearly knew he was breaking the law When he applied for permits, was denied, and kept collecting anyway. Despite the headline’s ‘prison sentence’ claim, minimum security jail is much different – but I guess ‘prison’ sure sounds much more enticing for an article headline.

    • Dennis Vermeer

      You totally refuse to see the point here: THE LAW IS FAULTY. What idiot makes a law that results in making rainwater-collecting illegal?! You don’t see the point here? Sheep?

    • crackersinc

      he applied for and then got the permits then they were striped from him were you even reading the aticallor were you writing your response as you read what youwanted to read.

  • Steven Burgas

    This is one of the few times where I would support an armed response against any government official who stepped onto my land to try to enforce such outrageously uncivil ‘laws’.

  • Jason P

    To many people on earth. We are already fighting over who owns the water. Let me off this rock!

    • booger71


  • Brian Mcardle

    The lunatics have taken,over the ASYLUM

  • LaVonne Kuntz

    This country turns murderers and rapists back out into the streets but arrests and convicts a man for collecting rainwater on his own property???? Freedom…..WHAT freedom? Living in another country is looking better every day.

  • chsan

    Are the govt officals there all morons?

  • Mik

    the photos suggest the old guy had a few rain barrels but in fact he was impounding thousands and thousands of gallons in 3 ponds and stocking them with fish, preventing others from being able to access water which would have naturally run onto their properties….he was horder, not just an innocent little gardener. If you live in the dry west you have to use a small amount and share with everyone else, not be greedy with a very limited resource

    • BC

      It has been proven that IF more people collected their own rainwater they wouldn’t have the drought. As they would not need to use more water from their taps and the water reserves–only 3% of rain water actually makes it to the streams and rivers that fill the underground water system, the other 97% feeds the plants where it falls or evaporates.

      If people were allowed to collect it, they could use that as opposed to drawing from the cities water source.

  • JezziJaymes

    That government is best which governs least.

  • oimamused

    This story is SO deliberately misleading. The pictures of rain collecting barrels only makes this so much more misleading. He was NOT collecting rainwater from his own property, he damned two streams that ran THROUGH his property, thus collecting rain water and snowmelt that fell FAR upstream from his property. Medford’s water supply depends on the Big Butte Creek watershed. That watershed depends on ALL the creeks and streams that feed it. If every landowner damned off the streams that ran through their property the creek that the city depends on would disappear. This is such bullshit propaganda with the most misleading pictures and story ever.

    • BC

      Actually, they are not misleading, because even using the rain barrels a person could be arrested and charged as well. And it’s not just Oregon.

      In Utah, a few years back a Toyota dealer built a system in order to reclaim the water that fell on the roof of HIS Property to use for washing cars at his business. The state stepped in because they didn’t like he was using that rain water to reclaim and use. They claimed it was “THEIR WATER” hog’s not their water..rain water does not belong to the state.

      Allowing people to collect their own rainwater actually decreases the demand for water coming out of the aquifers so there is more water for everyone else, and it improves conservation, as they are less likely to use tap water or a water hose to water their plants and gardens. In Douglas County Colorado, they did a study that showed only 3% of the rainwater actually went into the streams and rivers, 97% evaporated or seeped into the ground right where it landed. They actually determined that IF more people collected rain water–there would not be a water shortage.

      Did you know that 20% of the Human genome has been patented by scientists? Thus they claim they ‘own’ those genes–this went before the Supreme Court Myraid Genetics tried to say they owned those genes, Thankfully, Justice Clarence Thomas ruled against them. Lest 20% of your body and mine would be owned by Universities and the various corporations paying for research on the human genome. Over 40k in genes have been patented, by the US these corporations seem to think because they have isolated certain genes they should have ownership of them–which means they would own at least 20% of your person.

      • Therese daniels

        I think this is reason enough to start a petition across the states . God’s water is free , He cleanses ….it’s the governments filth ,greed and control that needs to be “put in check”

        • Cédric Giraud

          Native Americans died because they thought things around them was sacred, attributing it to gods and spirits. Be careful doing the same thing…you’ll be disappointed at the end.

        • bosunj

          Petition? THAT’S funny.

      • Pickled Kittens

        But collecting rain water off your roof is actually legal in most places, you just have to follow ordinance

      • Cédric Giraud

        If it didn’t happen for the reasons exposed in the article, it’s misleading.
        It doesn’t matter what could happen or what has already happened, this is not the topic of this article.

      • Raidenko

        And therein lies the rub… If you collect a naturally occurring element (rain/snow), you depribe the “State” revenue they charge you for supplying same said resource to you. This is one reason Local Governments are moving against anyone who wants to live off-grid… It has become a vicious circle, the ultimate goal is to keep us dependant (enslaved) on them for services. Look at property taxes… you pay that yearly, so you really don’t own the land you are on, you merely lease it from some Government entity.

    • Ricky Wilson

      I can understand that! Very misleading! U shouldn’t be able to dame a natural water way no matter if its own your property are not. I stand with the state on that one.

  • Jenn

    God created rain and everything on the planet for man kind, not to be controlled by man.
    Rain water is much safer and healthier for us then all the chemicals in the city water.
    Also it is still not pure because chem trails spread throughout our skies by planes.
    Harrington has every right to preserve and reuse water from the sky on his property!
    The government wants everyone to be controlled and polluted by the toxins they so
    freely provide for us, and destroy what little is left of a natural world in the process!! Shake my head , disturbing!!

    • Cédric Giraud

      Native Americans died because they thought things around them was
      sacred, attributing it to gods and spirits. Be careful doing the same
      thing…you’ll be disappointed at the end!

      • Tom Mahan

        That is about the most ignorant comment on this whole thread. Indians knew how to thrive on their land. It had nothing to do with their spiritual beliefs. ignoramus

        • guestimate

          Native Americans died and lost their land because they didn’t believe men could own such things. The white man proved the natives wrong, with the barrel of a gun. As for their spiritual beliefs, they were 100% correct. White men violate those too, routinely and in spades.

        • Cédric Giraud

          Everything had to do with their spiritual beliefs and how it blocked the progress/improvement.

          • 97E


          • Cédric Giraud

            It’s just facts.

  • dancebuliak

    Every one seems to miss the point, doesn’t matter where you go with it, the tributary is funneling run off from his property…. the government does not own rainwater, it is not a commodity to be bought or sold, including by a corporate government. And yes if it is in the middle of his 170 Acers, he has the right to protect it in case of fire…if people got together and came up with a plan from those upstream of them, I am sure grown adults can figure it out equitably, with out government interference!

  • David Lawson

    unbelievable. This Tom Paul needs to be removed from his authority

  • andyk304

    He wasn’t “collecting rainwater”, he was damming three streams that feed into a river. The guy’s got enough water backed up to fill 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools, and he’s stocking the reservoirs with bluegill and trout- he’s even built docks on the three reservoirs he created.

    It’s bad enough that this site published a misleading headline; that you published the pictures of rain barrels is a crime against journalism.

    • hector

      He owns the land, therefore he owns everything on it!! Suck to suck little town that didn’t think to secure you towns water source..

      • andyk304

        That is just simply wrong. There isn’t a society on the planet that allows someone to block the flow of streams and rivers simply because those bodies of water cross their land. There’s a reason that this guy keeps on losing in court, and that’s because what he’s doing isn’t legal. Does the name Simon Bar Sinister ring any bells?

        Hell, most humans have moral objections to this type of self-centered bullshit- which not only threatens water supplies, but also threatens lives if engineered improperly- to the point where crappy, outrage-generating websites have to shamelessly misrepresent the facts in order to drive traffic.

  • B. Salles

    It is great when someone post things without actually researching. this man had reservoirs, NOT RAIN BARRELS like the pictures in this misleading article makes you believe. He built illegal damn that interrupted the natural course of rain water and melted snow down a stream affecting ALL ecosystem around his property! And that was after warnings were issued, he was arrested because he has stopped water to follow its natural course and had been told to stop enviromental agencies and he didnt! Such a great journalist misleading people in such stupid post, water belongs to everybody, including FAUNA & FLORA, and this man was affecting a whole ecosystem for his own benefit, that is exploutation of natural resources, i hope he stays in jail and serves as an example!

  • Meechy Mccarty

    So if the government owns the rain, does that include the clouds that make it and if this is ownership, then is the “government” responsible if the rain causes flood damage?

  • Bruce Falls

    i should think that whoever sold him his rain barrel-reservoirs is just as guilty or has a contributing guilt. its seemingly not illegal to buy and own the barrels, just illegal to collect rainwater.there is an underlying issue that hasn’t been disclosed, me thinks. i wish him all the luck in the world. his town has lost its sense of priority.

    • BC

      Yes, join the water conservation effort and collect your own rain water, 97% of which evaporates and seeps into the ground on YOUR property only 3% actually makes it into the water ways..if you collect your own rain water, you are helping conserve the water (by using less tap water) and using what would merely evaporate.

  • Lynne Camp

    I have never ever hear of anything so bloody stupid in all my life. Rainwater is free. Period.

    • BC

      How about the supreme court case where Myraid Genetics was trying to claim they own 20% of your body because they have isolated a gene??

      • bosunj

        Just let the fuckers try to collect from me.

    • dave1305

      Just wait til OR decides they own the sunlight that falls on your land.

  • algebra

    The EPA has declared that if you can float a toy boat in it, it falls under the Navigeable Waters Act.
    The use of regulatory agencies to impose the force of laws, laws which were never enacted by any legislative body, nor signed by any elected executive, is the problem.

    • BC

      lol, I can float a toy boat at the end of my driveway after it rains for an hour

  • Ingrid Kokshoorn

    Water is God given…..the Water Council or whatever they are called in Oregon are mad…if I was him I would ask them for the rain not to fall on his property that he does not want it and start charging them every time it rained……Greed will be the downfall of everyone concerned…..they should applaud him for helping conserve water and not waste it…..who made it illegal?

  • cliff curtis

    The main problem lies with the Medford Oregon area water district officials. I had very similar problems with them on my gold claim in neighboring Josephine county. I couldn’t pump water up to my highbanker without settling ponds (2) When I started digging settling ponds they came back and stopped me saying the river water was too low to be taking ANYTHING from it. The two ponds were about 50 feet in diameter and 2-3 feet deep with the naturally filtered clean seepage going back into the river! Southern Oregon water district is run by a few
    assholes that need to be removed from the office.

    • David Cagle

      Then stop complaining and do something about the “few assholes that need to be removed from the office “. However, this article is very misleading. The pictures of rain being collected in barrels from a roof is just as misleading as the article itself. Unfortunately, half truths are just as bad as half lies. If you are going to report on something, at least be better than your opponents and tell the whole truth.
      I agree that the man has valid arguments, but he still needs to obey the laws until he gets enough people, or laws that back his arguments, to win each individual count. Until then, follow the laws and continue to fight. Unless he enjoys jail, not prison, time. I doubt seriously they would go to the expense and mountain of paperwork it would take to process him into the state prison system. He will likely be serving his time in a city or county jail. A BIG difference.

  • Melissa Auffinger

    God is watching! What right does anyone have to restrict natural God given laws ??

  • Mel Boone

    So corporations like Nestle can take (steal) millions of gallons of
    water from entire communities without permission and it seems, without
    valid certification or license. But one man goes to prison for
    collecting rain water? How is this fair? This sickens me.

    • guestimate

      Speaking of Nestles, they are taking water from Lake Michigan and selling it to China, to the tune of +$250M/year, in violation of the Great Lakes compact of states, but for some loop-hole.

  • Trail Head

    Do you like your free phone? Do you like your piddly little government check? Then you WILL ACCEPT the government’s dominion of the very rain itself. Next they will “license” air.

  • Bruno

    i live in canada but it sound like the country of the strong and free USA became a dictatorship… know people if you keep sleeping than all your rights will be taken….water is a basic right so is air ….and they happen to be free as a gift from nature.

  • James Robinson

    They do NOT control the RAIN/SNOW!!! When are you going to pass the law where we have to ask permission to breathe? I mean seriously this is UTTERLY DISGRACEFUL, ALL THE WAY AROUND!!

    • Aliina Dee Jay-Represent

      Slanted article; pictures show barrels when he had actual ‘ponds’ and diverted stream water.

  • Sell Your Soul

    The government is going to lose this one. Rain falls on the guys land, it is his water and he can do what he wants with it as long as there isn’t a creek flowing through his property and he hasn’t dammed up the creek.

  • Charles O McVey Sr.

    Thank God I do not live in Socialist Oregon or Commiefornia, if it falls on my property it belongs to me not some stupid bureaucratic city, state, county, or federal agency.

  • ben

    Most likely he wasn’t paying for water. It’s not illegal to collect rain water. It is illegal not to have service for water and sewer. .

  • thebombzen
  • Gunnar Elí Sigurjónsson

    as a HUMAN not an american … ( wtf is american … does that also include south america ? …
    😛 just wondering 😀

  • DOCS

    I have a feeling that there is more to this story…

  • sambacomet

    This is a bogus story – those photos aren’t Harrington,and he was not charged with collecting rainwater, which is legal in Oregon. He diverted 13 million gallons of stream water. He was charged with violating the agreements he signed-the , to breach his dams. The whole thing dragged on for 10 years , he didn[t have to go to jail.

  • Nathan

    If I look up and open my mouth when it rains. Am I breaking the law?

    • bosunj

      Damn right if you’re in MedfordfuckingOregon. You scofflaw you! Dancing naked in the rain is however legal there.

  • Jed

    This headline is totally misleading. It is not until the end of the article that they mention he has actually built dams across streams. Stop sensationalizing and start reporting both sides of an issue.

  • Middle America 2

    so is the air we breath illegal as well?

  • Scott Murray

    He went through the proper channels and got permits, now the government is going to punish him? Seems to me like they have too much power.

  • Linda S

    This is a democracy and if it waters your property you are not Illegal and the same should be for retaining rain water. How dare our country of the USA do or even think of this betrayal of people.

  • Trina

    Rain water should be free as it doesn’t belong to anyone, it comes from the skies above.
    Now if this man has been jail because of this that means that this state and any other state that has this ruling, then now if anything you own gets damaged by rain water/snow melting then the state/states should pay the bill for all damages made since they own that water. Seriously rediculious.

  • Antodav

    Snopes indicates that a number of the details of this article are inaccurate: Nevertheless, the fact that it happened at all is astounding and terrible. Nobody owns the rain. It is God’s gift to the world.

  • Elliander Eldridge

    In a recent study it was found that the majority of rain water “run off” is ultimately evaporated and contributes very little to the overall water available in a given river. Furthermore, most of the remaining water ultimately leaves the state entirely as it flows to the ocean.

    When an individual collects and stores rainwater they prevent it from being evaporated or returned to the sea – at least initially. When they use it it gets released as evaporation and waste though and ultimately returns to the same system so there is no real net loss.

    What does occur is that there is a net gain for the community. As more and more individuals use rainwater collection this significantly decreases flood severity, drought severity, and the strain on water reserves. In other words, there tends to be more water for all.

    I’m sure someone will disagree with that, but think about it rationally for a moment: If he didn’t collect his own rainwater he would purchase water from the city who in turns has a limited number of water extraction systems. However, what if every home was a water extraction system? It’s like the comparison between a single hole drain and a large basin to collect water into the same hole.

    This is an important issue because the most of the national reservoirs are depleting fast. The Colorado river dam, for example, is 100 feet lower than it was just 20 years ago. Every national reservoir is facing a similar issue. What will happen when those systems dry up? Well, for starters, 80% of our nation’s winter food is irrigated exclusively by such water. Naturally, we will all starve. To death. So anything we can do to reduce the strain on the system and distribute the load evenly can and will save American lives.

  • Gary Turner

    The government has its fingers in everything. Sun light is about the only thing they can’t control. The only thing left in life that’s free. Unless you want to use it to power your home then we start back to dealing with the government.

  • Freemantalking

    hahahah, America is loosing it, where is the freedom and eagle spirit? i think the only people in the world who are not free or born free as their slogan say are the American people. poor guys, not even the rain is yours,it belongs to the federal gov and bank so you buy it and make them more richer. lucky i m a free man on a free land.

  • David Hubbard

    IF he was “diverting water from the river”…..I can see how he would NEED a permit. However, if he is ACTUALLY collecting rainwater….ON HIS PROPERTY….then the County and the State can FUCK OFF!

  • slamradio

    hate stories like this. don’t know if i’m mad at some injustice being done to the small guy, or if the small is just plain lying. shouldn’t be too hard to tell, but we’ll never get through the spin. Either he is being prosecuted for collecting rain in buckets and ponds/reservoirs, which would be horribly abusive by the state, or he is blocking/damming legitimate public use waterways which would be horribly selfish and greedy actions by the small guy.

    • Kathleen

      If the waters runs through his land, it belongs to him. How stupid can the government get. Go look at some of the rich people and see how they have ponds, swimming pools, hot tubs, you name it. If the government needs the water on his land let them pay for it. he pays taxes on his land, and the water falls on his land, then it is his. The water falls from the clouds and God made the clouds. Case closed.

  • Pickled Kittens
  • Paul LJ Catlow

    A novel called “The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists” is quite possibly one of the best manifestos for socialism that you can read. There’s a line where one character points out that if capitalism/big business could work out a way, they’d appropriate the very air we breathe and charge people for the right to breathe it. And you would then see people dying of suffocation in the street because they couldn’t afford to pay for air… seems like big business is pulling the same stunt with rainwater here.

  • sol2soul77

    this is beyond a joke how docile does a population have to be to accept this nonsense.

  • Kevin Thomas

    This law makes the Government a monopoly of public services then doesn’t it ??? Because there is no real choice then that it holds no interest in correct ?….

  • harold

    if rain water damage your house your car can u sue them if the rain waters is the governments then they should be the ones to pay for all damage and if you get a drought can you sue them for not giving rain ……. what a pack of ass holes this is total bullshit

  • Ben Childs

    In most parts of the country the Federal Government along with the States have water laws. Here in Colorado the Federal Government has ruled than storage of
    rain water off your home is illegal, because once the water is used (drains off your roof) it belongs to someone else downstream.

  • Barbara Elaine Leon

    What a bunch of BS… Now that is a weak law for sure.

  • Anne Rossi

    God owns the rain , it comes from the sky. it belongs to all Gods people. It is free to all.
    The earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof.

  • Brenda McQueen

    Totally wrong!!! He hasn’t tapped into city water! He’s collecting water from God!!! Leave him alone!!!! Its time for people to revolt and revamp all over reaching forms of government!!!

  • King Robert

    Yeah, except that he “collected rainwater” by illegally damming channels on his property. He dammed up 40 acres worth of water. That’s why he went to jail.



  • Kathleen

    This is the most stupid thing I have ever heard. God owns the water. What will the government want next? Rain warm is for anyone to get if the want to. Who is going to take or need the rain water? Don’t the government have more important things to do, like catching terrorists, oops I forgot the terrorists are Obama’s friends.

  • Ed Riker
  • Onofrei George

    So corporations like Nestle can take (steal) millions of gallons of
    water from entire communities without permission and it seems, without
    valid certification or license. But one man goes to prison for
    collecting rain water? How is this fair? This sickens me.

  • Wolf

    What does putting this man in prison do?does it reform him? No. Does it keep a dangerous person from the public? No. It is just government bullying and force! If they want to fine him then go ahead but prison? That is reduculousreduculous.

  • dsteketee

    This story conveniently ignores a lot of details…

  • HenryT2

    Before I read the article, I was outraged. But it sounds like it’s not that simple. He isn’t just collecting rainwater in containers, it sounds like he is stopping all run-off that goes through his land, whether it originated on his land or not.

    The pictures that show water coming off of spouts on the roof are not indicative of this situation. I suspect that the water coming off his roofs on his 170 ac of land is a relative ‘drop-in-the-bucket’.

    I think that a man should absolutely be able to keep the rain that falls on his land. But he shouldn’t have the right to keep all the water than flows over and past his land. If that were the case, people on the base of mountains would be able to keep everything that fell on and flowed down the mountain no matter how big.

    And in cases where the two mix, I think the state should have precedent.

  • Leonie Booysen

    Shu America you have become a belittled country. Rain water and snow is a gifted right from GOD. No wonder the world had lost their respect for America. Hell’s bell’s this is insane

  • Cédric Giraud

    He stored 13 millions galons of water?! This guy has HUGE collectors, huh.

  • Heath Meetis

    At first i was outraged at this, then i kept reading and this guy is clearly violating the law with his dam’s. He wants to say it is all about rainwater runoff and such but in truth it is about him using the dams to fill his reservoirs.

  • lcuvillier

    Are you people waking up to the dangers of this democratic party and the EPA? They ALL must be shut down forever.

  • Frogcycle

    The lead paragraph blames the US government. The article makes it quite clear it is the state of Oregon’s law and enforcement. federal government has nothing to do with this case.

  • sccmstl

    Harrington must report to a county JAIL for incarceration, NOT a PRISON. There is a difference. Prisons are operated by the state, jails by the county. If you won’t get the facts right, you are just pretending to be a legitimate news source.

  • boomer02

    Fucking backwoods bullshit law by a bunch of hicks

  • BlackKnight360

    What…the Fuck…

  • FailedToCensorThis

    This is stupid. Goes to show anything you get for free the government wants part of it

  • Keith Pate

    i collect rainwater thru my gutters and i use it to water my small garden..we have a god givin right to water..this is just another way the government uses to pay for it

  • Jimsgirl3053

    Damn, now the government own the rai,n how pathetic, money hungry and greedy.

  • Mark Alberto Yoder Nunez

    The benefits of “privatization”!

  • paulasuasa

    Guess I’m in trouble…I also store rain water…come and get me.

  • johnnybe

    Hope this bloke beats them– his land-his trees–his sun–
    his farm- his dam-his water

  • Ahmed Asgher

    What will it take for AMerica to wake up? Your civil rights have been eroding since JFK dies. Now this. Water comes down from the sky. How about them charging you for the air that you breath? And you have been voting for this crowd, every friggin year.

  • Jenny

    Who is the culprit(s) that reported him for storing the water? Why were they complaining? Was it because the rainwater wasn’t trickling down to them? Was the jury asleep? Why didn’t they exercise “jury nullification”? It’s a bad law and they should’ve stepped up to the plate!

    Amendment V

    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    It also requires that “due process of law” be part of any proceeding that denies a citizen “life, liberty or property” and requires the government to compensate citizens when it takes private property for public use.

  • Dustin

    Isn’t this what most farmers do in the name of a pound? You dam off places where water flows in time of heavy rain, once your pond is full it overflows on down to the next guy. That’s been going on since farming existed. And if you didn’t like being at the end, you figured out how to buy the piece at the top of the hill or you bought a piece next to live water(stream, creek, river) Now, when you do that, you aren’t allowed to divert it, so farmers just fence so stock could get into the water stream itself…. No government can change or enforce that unless you want to start eating dirt. Now specifically, I don’t know if he was diverting live water, or just built a dam(pond) where runoff comes from, so I can’t say for certain if what he did is “legal or illegal” but I do know this, if they try to enforce that all rainwater is theirs, its going to get pretty dang expensive the next time a storm does some damage to my roof and leaks into my house, because I’ll hit them with not only repair costs but for negligence in allowing their rain water onto my land to damage my home. Slippery slope, you bet city, just open the door and the cities roofs will be free for life!

  • maszki

    This has also happened in South Australia wshere a farmer is being charged for using dam water to quench his herd’s thirst/ This is J P Morgan;s derivaives gone absolutely haywire

  • Zajac Wendy

    I get that you shouldn’t divert rivers/streams/etc. but the issue of collecting rain water is nuts!! That is pure greed and control! It is greatly beneficial to collect rain water but of course they are going to make a law saying “no”. Just like the f**king insane laws some places passed about having your own gardens! Authorities coming and trashing gardens for no good reason. Too many in government have become dictators!!

  • Roger Parks

    The rain belongs to God, and if it falls on my roof, it`s a gift from God.

  • fromthemomma

    I think our government is reaching the end of what the people are gonna put up with, everybody is sick of their abuses and pilfing our money and belongings. Keep pushing people like this guy and the rancher in Burns, Oregon…they haven’t seen anything yet where our militia and other civilians are concerned. It’s obvious if they get our guns the abuses will skyrocket and the people will have no recourse, the courts sure don’t have justice in mind anymore. It’s nobody’s business if this man wants to collect water on his own property, it’s about government power and greed.

  • sweet_sue_ohio1

    Silly me. I always thought that God owned the rainwater. If that is the case, then the government needs to have a serious discussion with God about who owns it. I bet God would like to here the governments side of the story.

  • Frank Gilbert

    More government over reach!! Is the something in the water out there? Geeze, When will “We, the People” say ENOUGH!! Thank God for brave patriots who are willing to put it all on the line for these folks. Looks like they are needed in Medford too.

  • MAJohnson

    Those photos above are not of Gary Harrington’s water collection reservoir. Gary collected 13 MILLION gallons of water by damming up a river. It’s totally legal to collect rainwater in Oregon. It’s not legal to divert and dam a river. The real story:

  • victoria
  • kenin

    Get this idea of a permit of of your head. How does a permit issued or not change anything? Water is a damn birthright, is he depriving anyone else of that right? I think not! And since their excuse was that it is “public water”. just ask yourself this: Isn’t he the public, isn’t he the beneficiary? They are making him the trustee and not the man. Get it?

  • Mark Are Reynolds Ⓥ

    What is my take? It is called the 2nd amendment. Too bad he isn’t asking for protection. But then again as I read the comments I realize this is a BULLSHIT article intended to get people upset. He was not collecting rainwater. He was building damns and diverting a creek. for all intents.

  • Linda S

    So if God causes the rain to fall onto your property it’s obvious He wants you to have it.

  • mksharma62

    Dirty and rogue capitalism. In our country we reward any person like this who collects rain water and uses it fruitfully.

  • Snowonweb

    FREEDOME!!! So you get upset at the ranchers who protest the federal gov’t jailing their friends over some fire but yet here you get upset at the federal gov’t for jailing guy who collects rain water. You can’t do both, you are either against gov’t encroaching on your rights or you are ok with it

  • Missy Victoria

    This is a stupid law… just like most laws in the land of the free.

  • ibutcherii

    This speaks to my hypothesis:

    The Meek will inherit the Earth, only after the Wealthy have laid waste to it!

    This shines light on Their obsession with Space Exploration; look at the two billionaires fighting over launching pad rights.

    The wealthy are circling their wagons in America and the World. To protect their insatiable appetite for the luxuries of The World, they have to thin the herd/world population: No to jobs, No to higher wages, No to welfare, No to healthcare, No to daycare, No to school lunch, No to prenatal care, Sterilization, etc…

    The wealthy control the land and the water sources making it even more difficult for those willing to live humbly. Now regulations on solar use, catching water, next it will be air. How? We may already be paying for air hidden surcharges for indoor venues.

    The wealthy know that if everyone were to be able to live their opulent life style, that no one would have anything.

    Disbelief, this is exactly what THEY need and want for most to be convinced that it isn’t so, while they spend Trillions on their space programs, while children are dying of hunger and feeding millions with harmful genetic altered food.

  • markiemania

    Personally I feel if water falls on your land you should have the right to use the water how you see fit. As long as you are not poisoning any water that feeds onto other land via natural methods.

  • Ncrdbl1

    Rain just like hail is an act of God and not regulated by the state. The US Constitution says that no man can be denied of property without just compensation. What keeps the state from saying that the state owns all trees in the state or all grass in the state or all minerals in the state?

  • Larry Dague

    Get ready folks..if we are allowed to free ourselves from coal, they will regulate the amount of sunlight on your will only be able to use solar panels when the sun is directly over your sun from angles.

  • Sharon Hess

    “According to Oregon water laws, all water is publicly owned.
    Therefore, anyone who wants to store any type of water on their property
    must first obtain a permit from state water managers.”……. If the water is publicly owned, the state water managers must let the public have it. Otherwise they are common thieves. Unless they get some ownership title from God, they need to let the people have the water.

  • Eric
  • Observing U

    CNSNews is of course a conservative misinformation outlet. Meanwhile, if you have decent reading skills, you will see that there is a BIG difference between the OREGON STATE government, and the US FEDERAL government. If the rain was not allowed to be collected in ANY state due to FEDERAL Laws, then that would be one thing, and not what this article is stating, despite the deceptions of the Anti-Federal Government Koch Brother’s pals at CNS News. Seems like the “anti-government” fascists will lie about anything to make a false point.

  • Alice Gerard

    rain water is the best water for the garden. This law makes no sense.

  • capers2

    Next they’ll be dictating who can inhale oxygen…

  • ibutcherii

    This speaks to my hypothesis:

    The Meek will inherit the Earth, only after the Wealthy have laid waste to it!

    This shines light on Their obsession with Space Exploration; look at the two billionaires fighting over launching pad rights.

    The wealthy are circling their wagons in America and the World. To protect their insatiable appetite for the luxuries of The World, they have to thin the herd/world population: No to jobs, No to higher wages, No to welfare, No to healthcare, No to daycare, No to school lunch, No to prenatal care, Sterilization, etc…

    The wealthy control the land and the water sources making it even more difficult for those willing to live humbly. Now regulations on solar use, catching water, next it will be air. How? We may already be paying for air hidden surcharges for indoor venues.

    The wealthy know that if everyone were to be able to live their opulent life style, that no one would have anything.

    Disbelief, this is exactly what THEY need and want for most to be convinced that it isn’t so, while they spend Trillions on their space programs, while children are dying of hunger and feeding millions with harmful genetic altered food.

  • tj826

    I live in Oregon and the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is like dealing with a tyrant. It is like that department Owns the Water. I was told we own the water and I do not. I already knew unless I had water rights it belongs to the people which should also mean not the government. I have heard both catching rain in barrels id illegal and not. I have a small seasonal creek that runs through my property which I had wanted to dredge for two reasons to improve the flow and get what little gold there is out of it. I bought my permit but by the time the permit arrived The creek was dry. There is a lot of paperwork involved . So the nest time I requested the paperwork for a permit I had to be a former permit holder. The fee was now about 3 fold. I asked about the increase and stated they must be trying to get rid of the dredgers, my answer was yes, I can’t even use a sluice box without a permit. This is just more BIG BROTHER trying to control us.

  • Are you sure?

    Welcome to Obama’s world. Totally out of control.

  • Bob Schoenle

    This story is truly pathetic. Government regulations and laws. whether local, state, or national are totally out of control. America being the land of the free is no longer true and its demise is near at hand. Maranatha!

  • Leona

    Well if the gov’t is taking the position that they “own” all the rain water-then why hasn’t the community come together and filed a class action against the gov’t for trespassing? If they own “all rain water” then who gave them permission to let that rain water land/go on private property? If they(the gov’t) are going to continue to be idiots-then by God treat them like it!

  • BillC

    Bottom line is that these laws are to insure that upstream people cannot withold water from people downstream, just because the water crosses their property. Colorado has some very strict laws, that include rain barrels catching what Falls on the individual roof… The law reads something like “no one may prevent any water which crosses or falls on their property from reaching a watershed, and any water diverted for use must be allowed to return to its natural course afterward.” Not a quote, just a non-legaleze prarphrase.

  • Billy C.

    Oregon has been that way for many years. If a stream crosses your property, you have to get permission to use any of the water. I was out there in 1963 and found that out from my uncle. He had a small stream on the back of his property and was having problems getting permission to use some of the water because it belonged to the Gov. of Oregon.

  • Coco

    Time to shut these sad excuses of law men tactics down! Water from god is not owned by governments! It’s our water!

  • wayne a

    This is what that POS in the WH has done to this country!!!! Only in Obamica.

  • Ben Franklin

    Government bullies are nothing but moochers. They go looking for “law breakers” because they don’t have anything else to do. CLOSE THEM DOWN! This is how you can tell all the mass “shootings” are from the government drills, and not citizens. These guys are aching for a fight, that’s why they’ve militarized all of their bureau’s. Hmm… repeat of the Native Indian? Damn right.

  • Ben Franklin

    Read the book, Government Bullies, by Dr. Rand Paul. It will surely piss you off.

  • superdough

    It’s not “rainwater”, it’s a stream, and he is damming it up. His neighbor, downstream from him, has a right to that water flow too. That is why it”s called “public water”. He doesn’t have a right to dam it up, no matter what the use is.

  • Sherry

    I can see collecting rainwater as it rains, I.E. with a rain barrel, but I don’t think it’s OK to divert water from streams. Now, if they jailed him for collecting water running off his roof, I would say that is a violation of his freedom!

  • Mary Brown

    What’s next? Tax the air we breathe(as polluted as it is by chemtrails!)

  • mudnducs

    “the public is outraged”? No…the “public is frickin FURIOUS!!!!

  • kat

    How about the States start taking back control of their State and tell the Federal Government to pound sand. The Federal Government is doing all of this to destroy us from within. Start listening to Rod Class and Krisanne Hall and learn how to fight back.

  • JD Adam

    …..of course the State owns everything by right of Corporate Citizens. Together thy fancy themselves as an unseen gOD…Unfortunately for Life on Earth, these new gODS can’t “Make” anymore water, they can only STEAL it!

  • tpishdad

    That is the stupidest thing I ever heard. Stopping water damming water that runs through your property that’s one thing the collecting water that falls from the sky that’s crazy

  • thisguysnuts

    Just remember Lavoy Finnicum! The BLM murdered him in cold blood.

  • Steven Correa

    I know that this is Calloused, but maybe this will be a Wake-up call to those Cowards! (All those Thousands and Thousands of Oregon Citizens that not only stood in opposition of the Patriots, but those that did not join the Patriots; even though they were just a few Counties away.) This was the Exact reason why Bundy, Hammond, Lavoy, and All those Other Patriots went to Burns, Oregon in the First place. To make a Stand against such Tyranny. Compared to the Total Numbers of Oregonians’ that Could have stood with them, very few took a stand with them. And IMO, that is to their Shame. Especially now that this has happened! (If in fact it really did happen. And I say this Only because I did a little research, and found that the same man has been arrested for the Same Charges Three (3) different times, and given the Exact same Sentences imposed upon him; including the Exact same Fine. And here’s a little FYI for those who are ignorant of the Law: “Repeat Offenders” are Never given the Same Sentences. In the Judicial realm, that is considered a “Habitual Criminal.” Even if it is merely a Misdemeanor. Another thing; get Three (3) Misdemeanors of the Same Nature -as Gary Harrington has supposedly done*- and the Third One becomes a Felony. But at the Very and most Extreme least, any Offender that get’s Multiple Charges for doing the Same thing, is Not going to get the Same Sentence. In fact, they Will be getting harsher and Harsher sentences Every time.)
    * Sources to establish that this is the Same (alleged) charge that has (allegedly) happened Multiple times: (1) August 2012 (; (2) April 2015 (; (3) and even as far back as 2002 (
    The lesson to be learned, IMO; is something that I learned when I was a Teenager: Don’t take another’s Battle upon yourself, that they aren’t willing to fight themselves!
    So, let them gather and fight their Own battle, and see where They carry it. And [if] they carry it to the Next level -instead of merely crying about it- then by all means, gather the Troops and encircle the Source, and go from there. AND FOR THE LOVE OF LIBERTY, DON’T ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE VIDEO TAPED IF YOUR FACE AND HANDS ARE NOT COVERED! (Shit, if you’re the one Video Taping, Don’t even record someone who’s Not Covered. That could be Construed as an Act of a Traitor. Because if you get Caught or Killed, and that Video falls into the hands of the enemy, then you just Willingly got someone Targeted -and probably Arrested, if not killed!)
    In closing let me say this: I am Not a freak’n ‘Hater’ of The People; nor do I ‘Side’ with the Government. So don’t come at me with Any BS about Any Thing like that! I am For The People. Just not those whom Cry about injustices committed against them, and aren’t willing to stand and fight for themselves. As far as I’m concerned, they need to Prove themselves…
    I am probably going to get a lot of hateful and accusing comments on this, but that’s Cool. I’m not a Sheeple, that follows blindly. Those days are long past….

  • kasualobserver

    if the government thinks they own the rain/snow water and can do with it what they please, then why can’t land or homeowners sue them during droughts since it’s obvious it’s the government’s holding it back from them?

  • Oil Doc

    It is all about 2 things, basically the same, Power, Control.

  • trapperwv56

    The same state that murdered Lavoy Fincum

  • Rachel

    The crooks in Oregon are going to Hell. Plain and simple. They enjoy destroying good people over something that GOD has freely given to us all to enjoy. I mean RAINWATER!
    Enjoy ETERNAL HELL ALL OF YOU EVIL JACKASS POLITICIANS IN OREGON AND AMERICA! When you arrive there the Demons will laugh & mock you and call you ALL FOOLS for believing their lies! 🙂
    Have fun swimming in the Lake of Fire!! :))))))) You all deserve what’s coming to you in the after life. Ta Ta!! That’s what you deserve for worshipping Satan, you big dummies.

  • Owen Durkin

    This is beyond absurd.What if someone decided to harvest snow in the winter? Is that a punishable offence? How about the government start clearing snow off every driveway in America at its own expense?

  • heidihoneighbor

    They arrested the ranchers Furstenberg and nobody said a word.

    What made Oregonian think they weren’t coming back for them next.

  • Kerry Day

    This is cheap clickbait. And it is horseshit. The photo of the three rain barrels are misleading, to say the least: “Harrington stored and used
    water illegally by placing dams across channels on his property and
    preventing the flow of water out of these artificial reservoirs without
    obtaining a water right permit. The height of each dam varies; two dams
    stand about ten feet tall and the third stands about 20 feet tall. The
    total amount of water collected behind these dams totals about 40 acre
    feet; enough to fill almost 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools. These
    man-made reservoirs feature boat docks, boats, and were stocked by
    Harrington with trout and Bluegill for recreational fishing.”

  • Vickey Waldo

    I got news for OR. and any other state, rain belongs to GOD, he allows it to rain on us all,

  • Haider

    did i hear someone say, Land of the Free !!!!

  • lloyd Lisco

    Justice only comes out of the barrel of a gun.

  • stringrrl

    I think one is within their right to collect and store rainwater. However, this article is a big disingenuous. From all the pictures, you would have thought he was collecting rainwater from his roof in rain barrels. He is not – he is damming channels and diverting water that would normally flow to a tributary that leads to a major water source. I still think he should be allowed to do so, but the way this article is displayed makes it sound like something else.

  • Icancounttopoo

    This is the stupidest shit I ever heard. Up here we promote collecting rain water to use for watering our lawns and gardens so not to use municipal resources. I swear the US has some of the most Ass backwards laws smh

  • Victoria

    I would like to see the letter from God giving the government ownership of water. If they own it, they need to produce proof. A letter from themselves, which is contrary to constitution does not count in any court.

  • elLYI

    The case in the article is not about rainwater. The guy illegally stored the state’s water in ponds, created a dam to make them, disregarded court orders, failed to get appropriate permits, etc. If he wants to fight Oregon’s water laws he should file a separate lawsuit to address them The article’s headline is spurious and not accurate.

  • Laura ZZ

    This man did nothing that any sane country would call illegal. What is INSANE is that fracking is allowed on this planet, using huge quantities of water and poisoning the groundwater. Where are the jail sentences for the TRULY guilty parties?

    • David Mowers

      Justice no longer exists in America.

  • AFF

    We live in a Tyrannical Fascist government. We give them the power we can take it.

  • iddee

    Mr. Harrington should sue Medford and the state for any rust or other damage caused by “their” rainwater. Then bill them for storage of “their” water while it is on his land.

    Next, sue for taking of private property without compensation. It was his water before they passed that law. A good attorney should be able to come up with a few other things to sue and bill for.

  • feet_ontheground

    This is sick and outrageous… America the home of injustice and economic slavery… .this CANNOT GO ON!

  • Shmuckraker

    He’s getting bad legal advice. Diversion means altering a water course. If he was damming a stream that passed through his property, the government might have a case. But if he is merely collecting water that originated there he is merely living off the land. It is capricious to claim otherwise. The test would be qhether the government plans to prosecute farmers collecting (or allegedly diverting) water by planting watermelons. Or people who neglect to cover their swimming pools when it rains, lest they illegally capture a few errant drops of rain water.

    I would think he could recoup the value of the water they forced him to release, upon appeal.

  • Egil Henrik Lehmann

    Who owns the air?

  • Dean Anthony

    Seems the thread has gotten lost in the southern california desert. Gary Harrington actions were to dam up a stream that feed the tributary that then flowed through the city limits of Medford, Or. Now what is not mentioned in the article is that in placing that dam, he denied access to his neighbors of that natural stream through their property and he was trying to extort payment from them to again have access. That’s a crime. Gary Harrington is no Hero for human rights or access to water. when you find meme’s that send you to information, don’t just accept the premise you are given all the facts.. It’s a starting place.. Find a second source to the story, make sure you have all your facts.. Now I’ll let the thread wander through the Mojave Desert again.. btw selling bottled water $10 per oz .. don’t want to wander to far out there without it..

  • Susannah Fedders

    God’s Rain water he going to jail for and we all know these evil idiots HATE GOD PATHETIC

  • bosunj

    When rain is outlawed only outlaws will have rain.

  • davol

    I would get out in the streets to protest something as stupid as this. I can still peacefully protest can’t I? What weird triplicate forms do you have for me to fill out in order to walk down the street with a sign about this?

    • bosunj

      Its very clear if you challenge the self-appointed “stewards” of natural resources in Oregon you’ll end up in federal lockup.

  • camelot93

    And who owns the air? We live in Florida and my stepdaughter and son in law recently bought a house, in town, that had 2 rainwater collection barrels, installed by the previous owner. The county inspectors came along and told them that they had to remove those barrels because it is illegal to collect rainwater. They said that collecting rainwater would be trying to live off the grid, and that’s a no no here now. So when do we have to start paying for air for breathing?

    • David Mowers

      The State of Florida made it illegal to live in a residence without water and electricity. They also made it legal to run a business out of your home with no rules. The downward spiral….give you a card and use it to take one from you.

  • bosunj

    Have I mentioned yet today just how much I hate these people?

  • Mick McNulty

    If the government can jail a man for collecting its rainwater then we should be able to sue the government for the damage its rain does to our cars, houses, clothes etc.

  • Pop_Korn

    Still believe you live in the land of the free?

  • Chuck Hawkes

    This is not talking about rain water off the roof, this is talking about damming up 3 small lakes that did not excest before these lakes hold a lot of water and that water is not going down stream to others that need the water also Medford is a dry area that is why pines grow there. It is not like the coast were there is plenty of rain were the firs grow. So he should have followed through and got his permit for 1 lake instead of 3 of them.

  • RJ O’Guillory

    …they are lucky the man is not terminally ill in some way…because in the fictional book I would write on the subject, once the man got out of jail…he’d go find everyone involved in his prosecution and cut their legs of with a chain saw. See if their blood belongs in the water table….just fictional…you know…
    RJ O’Guillory

    • Daniel

      Anything you write, or attempt to write is trash. It is evident by a very very quick Google search. Go back to sleep little one.

  • davol

    I get so pissed off about these rain collectors. Other people might want some of that rain too you greedy rain hogs! I hope they throw away the key on this rain-robber. We have drought problems and other water issues because of people like this who ruin it for all the rest of us. I propose the death penalty, but at least this way he has to sit and think long and hard about what he has done.

  • Dave_K

    I thought that we had a revolution over two hundred years ago to overcome this type of abuse from a king. I agree with Berne that it is time for a political revolution here to get idiots who promote these wingnut ideas out of office. Although it is true that there is no cure for stupid, it can and should be voted out of office….

  • cannotvote

    An Individual’s Life, and all resources for the maintenance of said life – is taxable. Weiss Haus Souse!

  • Tom

    If you really think it through it is obvious that people look at government the same as their religions. Really superior to, since they will follow the dogma of government over the dogma of their faith. Ergo, government is their god and owns the rain.

  • Syd Vishus

    If the G O V owns the water, then they should “write some checks” to flooding victims…starting with the victims of Katrina!!

  • Randy

    this is literally over a year old. what the status ?

  • teslafy

    I am an avid gardener in Ohio where water supply isn’t much of a problem and I collect rainwater from house gutters, and I keep it in circulation to prevent mosquitos where the larvae are destroyed going through the water pump. I also magnetize the water with a specially shaped funnel and electrically ionize it for a better plant absorption of the water. To me paying nearly 2000 dollars a year in property tax should allow me to use nature’s water falling from the sky. I haven’t had a problem with big brother in my community. But the govt is completely overbearing and totally out of control. The essential problem seems to be that there is no political remedy to oust the em effers from office, except maybe to support the local TEA party or vote libertarian. I think this particular issue is a psychological brow beating of the population to show them to obey the dictates we make or we will throw you in jail. This RAIN water issue is COMPLETELY OUTRAGEOUS!

    • teslafy

      In my opinion the best thing people can do to oppose the govt taking freedoms away from the people is to be VERY vocal about the 911 hoax. Here is my reply to the following query on Yahoo Q&A;

      Why do intelegent people believe the official 9/11 story?

      use a goat to lead the sheep following it at the slaughterhouse, and
      then they divert the goat at the last minute so they can use him again.
      People are sheeple. The goat is the perfessor that explains to the sheep
      how great a place the slaughterhouse
      is. They make recordings of the perfessor explaining how impossible
      things are possible and play the recording over and over again as the
      sheep are led to the slaughterhouse. The slaughterhouse is your news
      media. Sooner or later the sheeple can’t think for themselves anymore
      and they accept and obey. They are actually afraid of the consequences
      of realizing the truth, because they are holding onto their precious
      delusions for life. Simply put these so called intelligent people are
      too scared to look at the other possibility of a vast conspiracy,
      because it would destroy their precious preconceptions of how things
      should be. They live in a shell of their own making and cannot see
      outside of themselves. So you have answered your own question here. The
      people who you assumed to be intelligent are actually the ostriches
      sticking their heads in the sand so they won’t see what they are told
      not to see. They obey their orders just like the school children being
      told not to write in cursive. It is more important to take orders then
      to think for yourself. So now you have learned something about humanity,
      the truly intelligent people are very unique in that they question
      authority and they are probably not a majority, but a minority. George
      Orwell also gave the answer in 1984.“War is peace. Freedom is slavery.
      Ignorance is strength.”

  • Arny Artellan


  • Tony Hayden

    communism, here we come

  • Larry Mac

    If a drop of rainwater hits my property, it’s mine to save or use as I see fit. If I water stock or the garden, it will return to the reservoir either way. Some will, of course, be lost to evaporation, but such is true in an open stream, as well. This wholw thing is laughable!

  • The Refudiator

    More manufactured outrage

  • Рон Джамин

    These cockkksuckers need to start having their heads blown off.

  • erodam

    The government should control all aspects of of our lives and distribute to us what we need to survive so we can all be equally taken care of without worrying about how to survive. wait…that was the dumbass side of my brain talkin…

  • Gregory Peterson

    Oregon allows rain/snow water collection from rooftops.

    But this greedy jerk isn’t doing that. He’s filling up big ponds with water stolen from the city and stocking them with sports fish.

    In the West, property rights don’t necessarily include water rights.

  • Missy Victoria

    Obammy is a son of a bitch.. thinking he owns our natural resources. I told him so on Twitter. How many of you will do the same?

  • Mary

    This is part and parcel of UN Agenda 21. The UN has declared sovereignty over the oceans, to 500 miles beyond the shores of any nation with a coastline. “government” power has run amok.

  • Shod Pell

    If you take a close look at the NDAA law you might notice that it is not just Oregon but the whole of this country. That being said, I for one, the next time one drop of Government rain water lands on my property I am going to find me a lawyer and commence a suit against the US Government for the damage that it’s water is doing to my property by causing erosion, throwing what was dust, now mud on my house and cars and call it Vandalism, causing a hazard in movement because their water has now turned my property to slick mud that could cause a fall injury, it could short out my electrical causing damage by fire, and on and on. What is good for the goose is good for the Gander. I would hope that everybody in my area would join me in this suit and make it a class action. Just as Mr. Harrington should file a counter suit against the State, County, and the City of Medford Oregon. After all, it is no more ridiculous than what the Government is doing to him.

  • jasper paige

    notice that there was the claim at the beginning of the article that the US government owns the rainwater. Later the article states that it is Oregon state law. It does not take too much to realize that local law is NOT federal law. Please do try to be accurate.

  • VeZe

    People, how about to start to learn who you are? Learn difference between Common Law and Civil Law. Learn legalese. Ask him….

  • Kaitsu

    So, it´s the duty for government to pay all the cost´s needed to protect ones property from damages of governmental rainwater. Including waterproof roofs, drainpipes, ditches etc.

  • raamer1

    That is ridiculously outrageous sentencing a man to jail for collecting rainwater on his own property, what is going on when did the government own God’s Nature, that is insane least to say!

  • gerbilcrusader

    I was a raided by the FBI and US marshalls even though I was a cold war veteran and army reservist in 1993 for wriiting letters to an ex girlfriend who was cheating with a local pig criticizing the FBI, ATF, Clinton, Reno and the courts about WACO and ruby ridge. Ended up in federal jail with bogus charges they committed violating my 1st and 2nd amendment, stole my stored legal firearms. Forced to plea for crimes they committed against me and my family with their racism and tyrrany since I am a christian minority. I was a POW for 1 year by these NAZIS. Didn’t know it’a a crime if you offend the FBI nazis. My lawyers said they conspired to make bogus charges. They added 22 more bogus charges and forced my lawyers to plea when I refused to agree with any of their lies. They tried to destroy me for having an opinion. They sent me to mental federal hosptal prison to try to brain wash me. This shit happens daily. The federal courts including many state courts are your enemy and are facists. The police as a whole with an exceptional few are nothing but GESTAPOS and SS Nazis. I guarantee they will never raid me again and lay their hands on me or any cop. I will fight to the death. I rather fight to the death knowing how evil and tyrranical these bastards are then be locked up in their concentration camps called federal jails or FEMA camps. The courts ignore the constitution and civil rights. WAKE up and stop believing the lie in the media the government, courts and cops are the good guys. They are all evil tyrrants.

  • Jane Jessee

    People out of work homeless, children going without lunch at school and THIS is what they have to get excited about/??? Typical liberal government socialism!!!

  • WTF!

    What an utter croc of bullshit! Since when is it illegal to collect rainwater on your own property? Doesnt your authorities have anything better to do than put laws on free rainwater coming from the sky?, give the man a break & get a life this is so ridiculous having to go to jail for collecting rainwater! Good on him for fighting for his rights we are only human!

    • rattboo

      “What an utter croc of bullshit! Since when is it illegal to collect rainwater on your own property?” Its not, according to state laws. Its only illegal in Colorado for some people (in every other state its legal):

      This guy had 3 small lakes with millions of gallons of water. If everyone was allowed to do that, there would be a huge problem.

  • Judge Roy Bean

    City, County, State and Federal governments must be shaken to it’s foundation and all destroyed which is unconstitutional or just plain war. We pick on the Fed’s but all phases of government have been infested with the disease of evil doings.

  • rattboo

    This article totally obfuscates the truth. The only state where it is “illegal” to collect rain water from your roof is Colorado:

    All other states allow it. HOA’s may not, and individual counties may not. Creating your own lake / lakes is an entirely different story. That is what this gentleman has done. That is wwwwaaaaayyyyyy different that just collecting a few thousand gallons of water from your roof. The article shows rain barrels as if that’s what this issue is about. Wrong. Those are not illegal according to Oregon state law. There may be Home owners associations (HOA’s) that prohibit rain water harvesting, that’s a different issue. Most HOA’s consist of wealthy conservative right wingers, not liberals. So get off the trashing “liberals” trip. This article promotes FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) which is totally counter productive. Deal with the truth and all of the facts, then go after corrupt government with the truth.

    State “agents” are not snooping around looking for “illegal” rain barrels, or cisterns. That fear is just bs. Now, HOA “officials” and maybe some “county” officials just might do that, but they are on shaky ground in all states except Colorado. That’s not state “government”. Get it right.

  • deenie1219

    The guy is using the water but it all is returned to Nature over time. He is not adding hazardous waste to it or making it toxic. No harm done. The government seems to be at war with anyone who shows any signs of independent living. In Florida, for example, it is illegal to live off the grid.

  • petertrast

    Once it touches the ground it ISN’T rainwater, it’s runoff. Big difference. The title of the article is a lie.

  • LaRae Bailey

    This story is very similar to the Bundy families story of the government over reaching for their own personal greed and gratification. Violation of the American constitution

  • Marty

    This is such collectivist thinking. There is no such “thing” as “The City of Medford,” unless one means the land and buildings thereon. But land and buildings are incapable of initiating action. “The City of Medford” sure as hell is NOT the mayor, city council, and police department. If that were ture, then every private resident would be slaves to the city of Medford. There is no such thing as “the public,” if one means a superior entity which holds sway over and acts in contradistinction to the individuals which makes up “the public.” One cannot have a forest without trees. And the “life” of a forest cannot require the sacrifice of all the trees which make up that forest. The trees are the only physical reality; the “forest” is merely an abstraction which is used as a form of mental shorthand to DESCRIBE all of those trees.

  • Ted O’Hearn

    That is like laying a claim on air. If someone is collecting run off and rain water, more power to them. Especially on their own land . As long as it is not stopping or diverting water out of a primary water way.

  • Resist_Tyranny

    Crap like this is what jury nullification is for.

  • stashgal

    He was illegally damming streams & storing the water in ponds, he wasn’t just collecting rainwater off his roof as photo’s imply.

  • John Strohl

    I’m willing to bet you can harvest and keep rainwater in Oregon…. as long as you don’t let it become surface water first. Don’t let it touch the ground. Runoff from your roof or other domestic raised surface is probably not going to get any attention at all. It’s not about where it came from – rain, snow melt, etc. – it’s about what the state of it is when you “collect” it.


    Either everyone in Oregon defy the communists running your state, or as Constitutional supporting Americans, boycott anything connected to the Peoples Republic of Oregon. Nice Guys Finish Last!

  • Dee

    So what’s totally lost in all this “truth”. Is the fact that the real reason he is in trouble is for altering the path of tributaries. Any moron knows that is against the law so this really isn’t about rainwater. Geesh.

  • John C. Turmel, B. Eng.

    Jct: I hate it when they don’t mention the judge’s name. He deserves his name beside this decision for the rest of his life.

  • Mky

    Then if I had ever had water damage, the state would be liable for damages …..right?

  • pita

    Water is going to take the place of oil as the next planetary resource to hold over everyone’s head to make fortunes. We need to start thinking about ways to protect this resource with sense. Why doesn’t the government think about all the water wasted watering lawns on the millions of yards across the country? That seems more of a threat than a guy with three ponds. In addition to this horrific waste, how about the toxic fertilizer/weed killer that soaks into the ground water. Water is something we can’t live without so quite wasting energy on whose using public bathrooms and whose finger is the longest and start thinking about how we can save our natural resources.

  • T. Kelly

    And so it goes with the Laws and Twisted Thinking of ‘THE WHITE MAN’! The native Americans Never even thought like this! This is WICKED and EVIL to charge people with a crime for collecting what God has given to ALL for free! But when the Wicked Rule the people sigh!

  • Larry

    The rain hits the ground and then goes back up in the sky . The water never reaches anything but his property. He saves the water……………… This crap is about control. It’s called Agenda 21 . Look it up sometime.

  • Larry


  • Billy “The WiZaRd” Angus

    Here’s my message to the infidel government:

  • Joeschmoe

    How about take the criminal bastard EPA bureaucrats Outback and tar and feather their sadistic lazy tyrannical asses this will come to a head real soon

  • Montana Rancher

    You missed a couple of basic facts that change the entire story.
    1. After bulldozing the dry stream beds and creating the damns, he diverted water from a flowing stream to fill them. Oops, that changes the narrative a bit.
    2. After stealing the water he then started irrigating his land with it. If you check out the water laws in any state, you would at least get chased by your neighbor with a shovel over this outright theft.
    3. To try and prevent his water theft they withdrew his pond permits,
    4. Quit showing pictures of rain barrel collection systems, this “victim” has stolen millions of gallons of water and deserves worse than he is getting.

  • robert j mcgregor

    outrageous! total injustice by liberal scum

  • Jakob Stagg

    With a government like ours, who needs enemies?

  • Howard J. Barnett

    Yup, really. If you break the law that’s been in place for 90 years, you go to jail. This is not about some rain barrels, as your headline suggests, it’s about entire ponds diverting water from rivers and streams. Water rights are highly regulated in the western part of the country, and you can only hold on to so much before others downstream start suffering.

  • downw/theclosetmuzzyclown

    The gov’t, local, state, and fed, can kiss my lily white A&&!!!!!!

  • godisvictorious

    who are the judges , city officials and other thugs pushing him around? we want names

  • Kerry Day

    This was debunked a year ago. It is cheap click bait and readers should be angry at this website, not the gubmint.

  • da Palani

    THINK PEOPLE ! One man steals all the water at the top of a hill –
    How do you water farms? What happens to the wildlife that need water from a dried up stream.
    This is Oregon, those rivers feed millions of people and wildlife.
    One person could buy hundreds of acres and basically hold the upper west of America hostage.
    Collecting water in places like Hawaii – for home use- are TOTALLY legal and needed.

  • Buck Rogers

    Holy shit boys i guess i’m in some really big big trouble according to this bull shit .

  • john

    i think this American law is ridiculous and stupid as hell…
    in all the rest of the world, everybody can collect it, except US…
    poor people, they have so stupid rulers…

  • ibutcherii

    This speaks to my hypothesis:

    The Meek will inherit the Earth, only after the Wealthy have laid waste to it!

    This shines light on Their obsession with Space Exploration; look at the two billionaires fighting over launching pad rights.

    The wealthy are circling their wagons in America and the World. To protect their insatiable appetite for the luxuries of The World, they have to thin the herd/world population: No to jobs, No to higher wages, No to welfare, No to healthcare, No to daycare, No to school lunch, No to prenatal care, Sterilization, etc…

    The wealthy control the land and the water sources making it even more difficult for those willing to live humbly. Now regulations on solar use, catching water, next it will be air. How? We may already be paying for air hidden surcharges for indoor venues.

    The wealthy know that if everyone were to be able to live their opulent life style, that no one would have anything.

    Disbelief, this is exactly what THEY need and want for most to be convinced that it isn’t so, while they spend Trillions on their space programs, while children are dying of hunger and feeding millions with harmful genetic altered food.

  • D!zzyd123

    Something is bullshit here and I got the feeling that it isn’t a rainwater collector…

  • hugo

    Estado bancario, estado terrorista!!

  • David Kempton

    Thisis an old post, but – what are my thoughts? The governmen t has become SO corrupt that there there is NO saving it. Democracy, the rights of humans, the REMOTE POSSIBILITY OF SURVIVING ANOTHER HUNDRED YEARS – all gone. Because of the insane demand for proft over sustainability – or even survivability.


    Which MEANS it is time for a change. You remember “Love, American Style?” Well, it’s time for Revolution, French Style. We can import a few dozen ISIS headsmen so we don’t need to build guillotines…

  • Joan

    If the government claims that they own the water in your state, then that is who you sue when flooding damages your home or property..keep that in mind..same goes for the deer, turkey and other wildlife that they make you get a hunting permit for. I heard of a women whose car got hit by a deer and she sued the state under this idea. They agreed to pay her insurance deductible.

  • diablodejalisco

    wow, that is screwed up. why don’t those bundy patriots fight something like this? it would be worth their time. this seems like the supreme court should make a decision on this. no one can own the rain.

  • diablodejalisco

    all that rain in oregon and theres is not enough to go around. don’t they know there is enough for everyone? if you don’t use it the sun will suck it up or it will flow right back out to the ocean.

  • Cynthia Dempster

    What a bunch of bull shit!!! Goldman Sachs rips off millions of americans and NOTHING and this man collects rain water and gets put in jail!!! PLEASE!!

  • Sue dont like abusers

    How stupid! I think it a great idea for collecting water on your own property. Jailing a man for doing that. when you have real crimes out there. Like animal torture and abusing them. Slaughter houses for horses cross over to Mexico..

  • Adam Sternberg

    A very false and misleading title. He’s going to a local jail, not to prison. there is a big difference.

  • Jake Brown

    If you capture the rain before it hits the ground it is yours. Rain barrels are a smart way to do that. The silliest thing about this is that, most likely he is not saving rain water. He uses it. Then, he replenishes it the next time it rains. The water eventually finds its way back to the earth in Oregon. If government owns the rain water they should be paying the land owner rent for allowing it to flow over their land. Once it is on the ground it it should “belong” to the earth to replenish streams, rivers and aquifers. This case sounds more like, the state & (or) local water company wants to prevent the loss of revenue caused by saving rain water and damming streams or digging wells. I would think the state has better things to spend tax payer dollars on than jailing a person for collecting rain water. The next time it rains don’t go outside, look up and open your mouth because that rain drop that lands on your tongue belongs to the state and you just stole it. Jail time?

  • magormissabib

    They show pictures of roof runoff into rain barrels this is FALSE. He built 20 ft damns and horded 13 million of gallons what would have gone downstream for the benefit of everyone else.

  • Jenny Lens

    How much do Arrowhead, Sparkletts, Nestle, Coke, Pepsi pay for water taken from US land and foreign land? Do they get thrown in jail? The 1925 law needs amending. Ppl should be able to use water ON or IN their land as theirs. That’s how the wild west was developed. Hasn’t anyone seen Bonanza? Seriously, the government is over-reaching and not being logical.

  • Anonymous NTX

    You people in Oregon better start focusing on Jury Nullification

  • Terry Jensen

    yes again we only get part of the story. This article is more complete. Collecting rain water for household use is not the issue. I live on a ranch in remote Owyhee county in Idaho and we have water rights that are yes regulated by the State. I have a share (several) of the creek water that is snow run off from the mountains. Everyone that has water right claims gets so much water for their irrigation and you get it in order of date you filed. The first one that has the oldest claim gets their water first. If there is not enough water to fill that claim then no one irrigates. When there is water and this year after 3 full years we do have water then everyone gets a certain amount according date and acreage. This is the only time we can revert watering this is only fair. I also have a water right for an irrigation well..if any one well impacts another in drought the irrigation is the first to be shut down…domestic watering for livestock and household use is then priority…makes sense. I also can dig a pond as long as it is not over 18′ feet deep. In may areas the surface water is within that 18′ feet and will collect in that pond…that can be used for irrigation. My property has a pond and at one end of the pond there are several springs which feed this pond continually…this pond, springs and water are mine no water right involved because it is on my property…has nothing to do with the creek water. Collecting rain water doesn’t seem to be a problem but diverting water out of a drainage servicing many people is. The whole issue is not reported because the media wants a reaction and you to get all fired up…it did me as I have several big containers that I collect rain water but it comes off the roofs of the barns.

  • gordon_wagner

    What jury convicted this guy? We need to see a lot more JURY NULLIFICATION. Visit

  • Kathleen Riley

    It sounds as if he’s not just collecting rain water – he’s gotten greedy and is possibly depriving others in the process. If he’d quit damming and just collect rain water in barrels around his home I’m sure nobody would object.

  • David Christopher Mooneyhan

    What abot the companies that bottle water which takes more from the water basin than the small collection of rain water for personal use possible within the triple digits but no higher.

  • Nathan Healey

    What’s the Judges NAME?? This criminal judge should be in jail…..or at least in a mental institution…

  • Rachael

    I had planned on starting a local campaign to protect the rights of people within the county. Once I read the above story today, I realized that we need a clear definition on our rights to rainwater, to grow our own foods, to the sun and the wind. While this seems crazy, the government over-reaches in every part of our lives. Join me and sign so that we can petition President Obama to sign the executive order protecting our rights.

  • Jay Virtue

    Water is big business. A billion dollar business, in fact. What gets me is these people make up laws that are against human beings and nature. They own land that does not belong to them. But because they kill and steal it, they claim it. They didn’t create this earth and the method of condensation and rain, but they own the water that falls from the sky. And you have to apply for a permit to collect it? It’s our right as a people, given to us by our creator to walk this land, plant our crops and to collect rain that fall from the sky. Is this not how the streams, rivers and lakes get filled up? And isn’t that where they get the water they sell to people? No one should be telling another human being they can’t grow their own food. No one should be telling another person not to collect rain water. Just like no one should be killing, oppressing another person and making big business out of war and misery. But they do that, too. This is a sick world we live in and before you know it; your freedom will be gone and there will be no way to get it back. Black or white when that happens all hell is going to break lose. And that time is near.

  • Barb Baughman

    Stupid Tree Huggers

  • Chuck Cottom

    They just announced that everyone here will have to pay minimum $4 a month in sewage fees for a small home 1,000 sq ft or smaller up to $18 for large homes to cover rain water run off large shopping centers are getting soaked as well

  • Eat me

    Wow, the underlying fact that everyone seems to be missing here is that your government is corrupt. Always has been, always will be.

    This alone isn’t really such a big issue, but when American people want to whinge and whine about their gun laws, and how you can’t take their guns, because it is a constitutional right, all I can do is sigh.

    Wake up dickhead, It’s a right so that it provides you a chance to fight back if your government becomes corrupt. Well it’s a bit late for that now isn’t it?

    If you cant see that living in a country that imprisons it’s own citizens for collecting rain water is wrong, and that the government imposing those laws is corrupt, and that this is the VERY THING THE CONSTITUTION WAS MADE FOR, then you are clearly too fucking stupid to be trusted in public places with a weapon anyway..

    America. Soft Cocks, Small Brains, Big guns, but not enough balls to use them.

  • gary triplett

    How damn stupid!

  • Jeanne

    The government is stupid they don’t own the water that comes from rain and this man has every right to stock up on it

  • jade Alexander.

    More liberal insanity

  • Dane Ann Smith-Johnsen

    God owns the rain and he gave it to man that they might live and replenish the earth.

  • agb1953

    And once upon a time in this country, the courts all the way up to the Supreme Court said you could legally own people. Then they said you could segregate people based on skin color. Of course, those were courts controlled by democrats. Isn’t Oregon one of those liberal states run by democrats? Isn’t the US Justice Department run by a democrat President today?

  • Fanfaron2011

    A permit to collect water on your own property? Talk about government-overreach! YIKES

  • donholmes1

    It is said by our founding fathers that if the government ever owns the water they will own the people.

  • Billy Hammett

    like something from a Lewis L’amour novel we are not talking a few water butts here and if every property owner started to block the feed to the city’s and started selling people the water what then

  • Greta Rich

    The rain comes from the clouds that develop thru natural processes and the water in the clouds is transferred from every area of the earths surface. God created the process and under the law of nature and natures God it belongs to everyone not the government. To extend their watershed law to natures rain is an over reach and abomination.

  • Lyn Gray

    Absolutely ludicrous, who are the people who make these ridiculous laws. Here in Australia, which is truly a dry continent/island, the government actually encourage you to install rainwater tanks on your property and at one stage for a couple of years, they paid you a specific amount towards that said installation.

  • George Shiflett

    sounds to me like a law that should be appealed

  • danbunderhill

    We need a comprehensive plan, one that respects the common man. Right now Nestle’ Corporation is able to take the best water from places where clean water is, for whatever reason, short for a pittance while this man, who is not a multinational corporation is imprisoned for not being properly enslaved on this issue. We are talking the very definition of fascism here. Anybody still think we still live in a constitutional democratic republic?

  • rikvanhorn

    This is the kind of civil disobedience I can get behind. Occupying park buildings, not so much.

  • Nina Martin

    I think the rain water is a gift from the heavens and as we all know GOD is in heaven. I thought the words in God we trust was on the walls some wherein the court house did the judge forget how to read or did he just turn a blind eye to the verse. This is wrong on so many levels…..

  • Arne Yoga

    The reference to the government “owning” water is misleading. The government is merely the enforcer for corporations as it is in every corporatocracy. These are the great corporations that are people, too. They’re privatizing water world wide now. They’ve also brought you the Ponzi scheme health care system with both insurance companies and for profit hospitals bilking the public with vastly scallating prices, prisons for profit the biggest evil and destructive force to the legal system and the granddaddy of them all, the murderous, country destroying, terrorist creating Military Industrial Complex. Aint privatization grand?

  • Lee

    Fuck US government!!! Fucking nazis!!

  • JoAnne Hyduck Hopkins

    I see a problem with blocking tributaries but if that is all the water this man has and has no running water, I think collection from the roof should be necessary for survival and he should not be bothered!

  • Dan
  • Imran Khan

    This kind of government overreach is what caused people like Timothy McVeigh to go batshit crazy.

  • AngryPatriot

    The local government is over stepping it’s authority, probably following Obama’s example of ignoring the law and the intent of the law. The citizens can fight this if they choose to by recalls and their votes. This whole country has been in the apathy stage of a nations life cycle for quite a long time. If we don’t wake up as a nation and actively ensure that we have trusworthy people in government, we will witness the demise of the USA. The elite are at is as I write this.

    Read this:

  • skokie

    Our local water reclamation district gives out rain
    barrels, sometimes they are 15 or 20 $, sometimes free…thy re trying to slow the rain runoff into sewers

  • Christopher Frost

    Showing barrels of water when the man was actually damming up a creek and messing up the ecosystem. This article is dishonest and pushing propaganda just to bash the government.

  • doug_w

    I have more respect for heroin addicted streetwalkers than I have for politicians.

  • Jon errek

    I guess I had better fill in my pond, home to numerous living things.

  • justjan

    The rainwater falls from the sky. That means than that people shouldn’t be able to use the sunshine from the sky for solar energy either because it comes from the sky. This country is getting so crazy that it’s hard to believe what these idiots are saying and doing.

  • Ed Crown

    People, please have more respect for one another. Do not hide behind the lies. You must except truth for what it is. I forgive Mr. Holmes for railing again white folks. I’m as white as Casper and Native Americans were victims of mass genocide. We brutalized Blacks, also. You cannot ignore the ugly history of our nation. If you try, you are dishonest. Native Americans lost heritage, family roots, everything they had as a culture and a mere remnant remains. Be decent and understand.

  • Susie Ellis

    Well common sense in not one our Priorities herein America

  • Suntop Kinseeker

    It is all about corporations (Water companies) and the US Government and State Government wanting their money. You store 1500 gallons of water that is about 150 or 200 bucks… Whatever the rates and taxes are. Cannot get it free they want their mother fuggen money!

  • Tresha S.

    He wasn’t collecting tubs and basins, he built ponds. I wonder if there could be any danger or reason why one should need a permit to build a pond on one’s property. . .

  • DL

    Evil bastards. They’re preparing us for the commie domination.

  • kasualobserver

    this is beyond ridiculous! illegals/refugees drive and get into accidents and have no insurance and use stolen tags because they don’t have a drivers license, work under the table, rape children and women, commit robberies at gunpoint, etc. yet they don’t get jail time because officials don’t want to overcrowd jails and prisons with lesser crimes. really, lesser crimes? yet this guy gets prison time for collecting rainwater and the 17 yr old gets jail time for having a joint in their pocket. obviously, u.s. citizens are having less and less rights in favor of not wanting to ‘offend’ certain groups.

  • Jim Fox

    “The commons is the cultural and natural resources accessible to all members of a society, including natural materials such as air, water, and a habitable earth. These resources are held in common, not owned privately.”

    Jackson County (Ore.) Circuit Court needs to be reminded of this foundational truth of classic economic theory.

  • Sonny Raze

    Everyone lost the true meaning of the Article. Big Government is the problem here not race. They take and take to squeeze every dime out of us citizens. I mean who the hell thought that they’d say they own the rain that flows freely out of the clouds. If you read between the lines you would see that by storing water in reservoirs your cutting down on using the city’s water. Hence: if you no use there water they no get paid. THEY NEED YOUR MONEY.

  • Franklin Radcliff

    He should have buried a few cisterns. Then no one would have ever known.

  • Steve E

    Another reason for Americans to be armed as well as our attackers.

  • Egco1971

    No one owns rain water, and if it falls on his property, then it’s his. His is insane!

  • Chris Infadel Rose

    Don’t forget the same state had the BLM assassinate and imprison others for standing against the federal government’s land grab.

    The same government also wants to reinstate the ridiculous assault weapons ban, put you on a terrorist watch list without due process and will be voting on a bill next week that will make you have to prove you’re innocent for being on the list before you can buy a firearm.

    Then you have massive spotting of UN military vehicle’s. Our dictator in house ignoring congress and the constitution for many many laws, including flooding our country with poor vetted refugees. Illegal immigrants and running guns not only through Mexico, but the middle east as well.

    Tell me why I should not be concerned and know now we need our 2nd Amendment more than anytime ever.

    Our government right now is by far more oppressive and corrupt than the British we fought to get away from.

    So now this Independence Day instead of being distracted by the pretty fireworks and big barbecues you should be pondering the fact that we are no longer independent and the day we celebrate has now lost it’s meaning.

  • DarkBean

    I think there is quite a difference between gathering rainwater and diverting water. He has pushed the limits, was told and continued. Several states actually encourage gathering rainwater with tax incentives.
    I have owned land that had a creek and a neighbor diverted and damned it. That’s just not fair.

  • Nancy

    How can a group of people lay claim to what belongs to God in the first place? We were all given a brain to use for survival and that is what this man is doing, he is surviving. Melted snow and roof water god game to him, where is the sound reasoning’s in this matter, common sense has fallen to the wayside because of greed and bullies. Shame just shamefulness.

  • mary utash

    Please tell me this is just a scam!!! Oh my gosh, and to think they let Hilary go?? Messed up, I hope this poor man wins with damages due to him.

  • Jess Evans

    how about those people who install a swimming pool?? it rains 10-20-30 inches over the period of the 6 mths its uncovered, why not arrest those people for illegally trapping and reserving water??? whether its a plastic 55 gallon drum or a cement pool, its the same. you are trapping “their” water. should be a law that you have to cover your pool when it rains. that will line up well with the commonsense laws they already have on the books. anyone caught catching rain in their pool will be sentenced to 30 days in jail. start with the freakin’ mayor

  • Rodger

    I thought this discussion was about rain water rights? As I see it everyone who catches rain water on their own property has the right to do so. It seems the State Authorities are currupt greedy money hungey biggits. Next they will throw you in jail for growing crops on your own land. Where will it end? go figure.

    We saw on TV last night two white police officers arresting a black man using force on him. We were informed that the young man died as a result. Shame on the US Police Force. We have witnessed several such arrests on NZTV News over the last few weeks with unnessary force ending in the death of the man or woman or child. I was thinking of going to America with my family as tourists but I’d rather go to Israel as it’s safer there – no brutal killing cops to worry about. I know of several families who have cancelled their Tour to the United States of America because of the brutality there. About time the Senate put a stop to this ilegal murder and put these bully officers behind bars and let the inmates handle it, that is if the law can’t handle it..

  • LJB

    US and State govs do not own the rain or melt off of snow or ice. Officials have truly lost their minds!

  • Joanne Fusco DeStefano

    fk the government….pieces of shits

  • Disgusted

    You need to stand up against this ruling, it’s ridiculous! It’s all about money and control – take it back before it’s too late.


    If I falls on your roof OK to keep and store.

  • Pat Mc Ginley

    This is the kind of ‘justice’ and ‘freedom’ the corporate-controlled Empire is trying to impose on the rest of the world. Absolutely disgusting and inhumane. But it’s typical of empires.

  • Robbie Underwood Mock

    If this is true, then the state and city should be at his place, first sign of snow fall or rain and remove said product from his land before he is forced to charge them a storage fee and or removal fee.. every time he shovels snow, he should send someone a bill..

  • Eliwood Starlaf

    The water belong to the Man and what the State of Oregon is doing is both sick and very disturbing. I hope that a mass protest will take place there and anywhere else where people’s private space is violated like this. Shame!!!

  • Judi Pavlovszky

    this article is very misleading and full of false information. Please remove it.

  • Judi Pavlovszky

    “Although in a strictly literal sense Oregon resident Gary Harrington was indeed sentenced to prison for collecting rainwater, that sentence followed several years of legal dispute over what the state continually described his willful and flagrant operation of a number of illegal reservoirs. Moreover, Harrington’s dispute with water authorities in Oregon was not first disclosed in 2015 (nor even in 2012), as police had been publicly involved in investigating his water collection issues as early as 2002. Finally, the laws in question are not new laws aimed at criminalizing water collection in Oregon or elsewhere; rather, the law that Harrington was found to be in violation of was passed in 1925, and the cited case involving Harrington’s large (illegal) reservoirs was decided in 2007.”

  • Judi Pavlovszky

    damming waterways is not the same as building a pond on your property. I know because we have built two. The lot we live on has numerous springs. My husband dug a pond that filled with spring water. On our lower lot, he dug a deeper pond in a spot where he always got the tractor stuck in the mud. That filled with spring water as well, and we stocked it with trout. He built an overflow pipe with screen to keep the trout in the pond and it empties into a stream that passes through our property as well. When you dam streams and collect the water on your property you are depriving the landowners downstream access to that same water. If the government doesn’t own the water, neither does he.

  • LetsJustVoidTheBillOfRights

    The government wants to CONTROL your ability to feed yourself and your family. It wants to CONTROL your ability to SELL, or freely provide, what you can GROW to others in need. YOUR GOVERNMENT INTENDS TO CONTROL… EVERYTHING. We call that COMMUNISM…!

  • Rick Doty

    If it falls on my property it is mine to do with as I want. I claim the air space above my home up to 51,000 feet. “Anyone” interfering with my rights, will get the beating of their life.

  • diamondmask

    He wasn’t collecting rain water from his roof. He was redirecting streams and building ponds that affected ground water. A big difference from rain barrels.

  • Shogan

    So you can have as many guns as you like, but you can’t do something to help the environment & they think they are a super power…beggars belief really.

  • Ben Wilson

    I’m not surprised, so many corrupt councils and courts in the US.

  • crayolacolorbox

    back in day,i want to know why it was decided a person had the right to claim land, who gave him authority to do it.

  • Russell Mac Culloch


  • Russell Mac Culloch

    Gary Harrington was sentenced to 30 days in jail on nine counts related to the unauthorized use of water, according to an Oregon Water Resources Department statement:

    “Harrington stored and used water illegally by placing dams across channels on his property and preventing the flow of water out of these artificial reservoirs without obtaining a water right permit. The height of each dam varies; two dams stand about ten feet tall and the third stands about 20 feet tall. The total amount of water collected behind these dams totals about 40 acre feet; enough to fill almost 20 Olympic‐sized swimming pools. These man‐made reservoirs feature boat docks, boats, and were stocked by Harrington with trout and Bluegill for recreational fishing.”

    The story led many to believe that all rainwater collection in Oregon was illegal, but that’s not the case. The state requires a water rights permit to use public water (including rainfall), but there are exceptions for “collecting precipitation water that gathers on an artificial impervious surface, such as a rooftop or parking lot; in rain barrels.” So, for most people in Oregon, it’s legal to collect and use rainwater.

    There has been similar misunderstanding about rainwater collection laws in Colorado. Before 2009, Colorado had strict laws that basically made collecting rainwater illegal. But the state later introduced laws that made it legal to use some rooftop rainwater collection systems and to set up rainwater retention basins at new development sites.

    Other states that have rainwater collection laws on the books include Arizona, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington.

    But these laws don’t make it illegal to collect rainwater; they outline allowable uses for rainwater and establish tax credits for people who invest in rainwater collection systems.

  • Lizzy Edwards

    What moronic sociopath thought that up?

  • Damien Malachi

    So the law has been around for almost 100 years, so he should’ve known he was breaking it, whether or not the law was completely retarded. He was also sentenced to 30 days in jail NOT prison (way to over embellish, Royce Christyn), so under Oregon Law, he’ll get some time reduced, and that’s if they just don’t kick him out due to over crowding after a day or two. His real problem comes from the fines, which are rather high, but rather normal for Jackson County.

    The law should be over turned; however, it won’t be. Big Agg is too huge of a lobby in the area, and any attempt won’t go anywhere. What the State needs to do is allow for the collection and storage of (X) amount of water for specific purposes. I know that Big Agg will back the water rights people, which is why it’s important to be specific. It’s not necessarily that the State “owns the water,” but more the individual ranchers, farmers and private land owners who own water rights near by who claim that they feel robbed of that water, which of course, they’re not. It fell from the sky and not pulled from a stream or well, after all. (X) should be a percentage of the average annual rainfall for that area. Let’s say 10% (for the sake of argument) of the annual rain fall isn’t a whole lot, but it’s enough to get a small garden through the high heat of the region or to water some cattle for a day or two as an emergency supply. If the water is being collected to make sure a person’s lawn is nice and green for Labor Day, they should be held accountable for that.

  • Julio

    And you refer as “under developed countries” to who…….? I don’t know who is the one I can call IGNORANT @ ALL of IT.

  • sgthappyg

    The man is in trouble for building a dam on his property. There is much more to the story and he has been told numerous times but ignored them.

    “A very short period of time following the expiration of his probation, he once again closed the gates and re-filled the reservoirs,” Paul told “So, this has been going on for some time and I think frankly the court felt that Mr. Harrington was not getting the message and decided that they’d already given him probation once and required him to open the gates and he refilled his reservoirs and it was business as usual for him, so I think the court wanted — it felt it needed — to give a stiffer penalty to get Mr. Harrington’s attention.”

  • jamieson Hall

    From here on I will start collecting rainwater to some capacity or another and the U.S. Government can kiss my a__.

  • MetaCynic

    If the state of Oregon claims that it owns all the water within its borders, then shouldn’t it compensate property owners for the damage, such as flood, mold and hail damage that its water causes? It’s only right that property owners should be held liable for the damage that their property inflicts on others.

    In a world where property rights are recognized and protected, water falling from the sky is unowned and belongs to anyone who can find a first use for it, especially if, like rainwater, it falls on their property and is collected. This is based on the homesteading principle.