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Utah Legislature: Raindrops may fall into pails legally

SALT LAKE CITY — The raindrops collecting in the bucket on your back porch could be legally yours under a measure endorsed by a legislative committee.

Sponsored by Sen. Scott Jenkins, R-Plain City, the current version of SB32 allows for the collection of rainwater in a single underground tank of up to 2,500 gallons and in two above-ground containers limited to 100 gallons each.

While collecting or harvesting rainwater has been a habitual practice for years in the state, it has been officially "illegal" because the state owns the water rights.

Residents often collect precipitation, he said, to throw on gardens or supplant other landscaping or agricultural needs. Many lawmakers have agreed with Jenkins, pointing to their own grandparents who collected rainwater to use for washing laundry.

The bill requires would-be harvesters to register online with the state and supply information about how much is to be collected and the collection point.

— Amy Joi O'Donoghue