Monday, July 30, 2012
Water, water, everywhere – Nor any drop to drink.*
A case of the government seeking money and bondage from rural residents by purposely misconstruing an old law & bending definitions.
Gary Harrington had no idea that he was a water criminal under an obscure 1925 law until 2002 when state bureaucrats told him that his three reservoirs were illegal collection devices that were a crime against his community.
At first, Harrington complied and legally filed for three permits to keep the rainwater run-off within his 170-acre property, including one that had been on the property for 37 years. However, it appears that the Oregon government is adamantly against its citizens storing and using their own source of water. Although his permits were approved in 2003, the state court arbitrarily reversed their decision and was subsequently backed up by a county Circuit Court judge who ruled that he had illegally “withdrawn the water at issue from appropriation other than for the City of Medford.” (Source)
Even if the city of Medford did legitimately own all the water, Harrington has good standing when he points out that the law mentions only streams and tributaries, not water run-off formulated from the clouds.