Friday, October 10, 2008


According the Washington State law, the state owns all water resources. "Water resources" means all waters above, upon, or beneath the surface of the earth, located within the state and over which the state has sole or concurrent jurisdiction. (source) This does include rainwater.

But King County encourages its residents to use rain barrels. Contradiction? Evidently the actual amount of water the state cares to regulate is more than the average one-barrel homeowner would use, so those of us with rain barrels are not likely to be prosecuted. However, that is just the choice of the state, since according to the state department of ecology, the current legislation does not define what a negligible (de minimus) amount of water really is. Oh, and item number three here also makes me a little nervous.

But what this really makes me wonder is this: if all of the ground/rainwater in the state belongs to the State of Washington, does that make the state liable for the damages caused by the water too? Floods happen nearly every year, and then there are mudslides, snow damage, rain damage, basements flooding and probably more things I can't think of. Doesn't ownership usually imply responsibility?

Oh, and this also makes me wonder. Do we really modify the weather? If we do, I guess the state controls that too.

Well, so much for my foray into Washington State laws. I'm going back outside - to water the garden.


Nick said...

Jenny and I just had a marathon session of harvesting the garden. It frosted last night and will again tonight, so we are about to embark upon a 24hr canning extravaganza. (Yes, Liz, I'll bring a can of salsa for you)