Weird Laws

There's a good chance that people have been collecting rain water for nearly all of human history. Most settlements are built near bodies of water, but the only other way to get it -- before the digging of wells and irrigation canals -- was to set out bowls and dishes to collect clean water. This water is also often far safer for drinking than water from other sources.

However, no matter how long this has been going on, Colorado has made it illegal. Don't set up a rain barrel on your house, or you could be considered a thief.

Government Control

The basic premise here is that the government controls the water. They run the reservoirs and monitor use of river water. Water is pumped into homes and people are charged based on how much they use. The government wants to keep making money off of this, so getting water from other sources, which weren't paid for, is illegal.

It's apparently about more than just not paying for the water, though. The water table works in nature by funneling rainwater through underground pathways into the rivers and lakes. This water is then used and sold by the government. By taking the rainwater before it enters the water table, residents are thought to be "stealing" that water. The government's supply goes down and people don't pay for everything that they use. If they were to steal it directly from the pipeline, this would clearly be theft, so the government assumes that anyone taking it before it gets to that pipeline is also stealing.

Use of Resources

While it may seem odd to be regulated when it comes to the use of rainwater that falls on your own property, there are many environmental laws and government regulations about the use of natural resources -- one of which is water. If you have been accused of using such resources in an illegal fashion, you could face fines and other significant ramifications. You must know what legal defense options you have if you choose to go to court.