During the summer months, I completely understand bans on rainwater remaining stagnant in our area. We live by the river, so mosquitoes can get really bad; stagnant water only encourages their breeding, so it makes sense that the city wants to discourage people from leaving water around.
That said, if you want to collect water in your own containers to be used over again, there’s nothing wrong with that—and the city doesn’t penalize you. The entire state of Oregon, however, is not like my town. They are penalizing a man with a month in jail for collecting rainwater on his own land.
Gary Harrington had applied for permits for his three reservoirs (which are silly in the first place—permits to reuse water?) and was granted them—until they were revoked. His town then charged him $1,500 and sentenced him to 30 days in jail just for collecting water. Seriously, folks? Is crime that low in Oregon, where law enforcement are cracking down on freaking water collection?
I get keeping water public—the privatization of water is a dangerous thing for our entire nation—but this was simple rain collection on private property, and absolutely ludicrous. Anytime people reuse and recycle resources, it should be celebrated—not penalized.