The Los Angeles Department of Public Works has unanimously approved an ordinance requiring that rainwater from heavy rainstorms be captured, reused, or redirected. Compared to constructing more energy-intensive desalination plants, rainwater harvesting and diversion is a sensible alternative.
Several states in the west have 19th century laws that make catching rainwater illegal. The argument goes something like, "if people catch water out of the sky, it can’t run into streams for which someone downstream may have water rights." Science doesn’t really support the assertion: About 97% of rainwater never makes it to a waterway, a fact which countries like Australia already know. The sensible Australians even subsidize rainwater catchment systems for their citizens.
The more that people rely upon rainwater, the less need they will have to draw groundwater begging the question, won’t it all sort of even out?
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