California bill aims to legalize rainwater capture

While rainwater collection is a hot topic issue in some areas, California is looking to make it a little easier to use your rain barrels as a water source. This week, AB 275, the Rainwater Capture Act of 2011 was introduced into the California State Assembly, a bill that would allow landowners to install rain barrel systems and not only capture water for outdoor use, but also for indoor use.
The NRDC reports: “The bill would also authorize landowners to install systems to capture rainwater for use, with proper treatment, in indoor non-potable applications, such as toilet or urinal flushing. Allowing rainwater to be used for indoor applications would greatly expand the opportunities to capture and use rainwater in the state. The more uses rainwater can be directed to, the faster storage tanks can be emptied, and the more water can be captured.”
With a growing population and water sources capped out, especially in the face of long-lasting droughts, California needs to use whatever water it has. The refreshing burst of rain the state has experienced in the last couple months with an improved policy on rainwater catchment can help alleviate the strain on other sources, such as the Sierra snowpack and the Colorado River. It’s a way to utilize all that rain that simply falls on rooftops and streets, only to be swooshed away into stormwater systems rather than back into groundwater supplies.
Brian O’Neill


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