Nevada Drought Forum Wants To Allow Some Rain Collection

Jan 26, 2016

Credit Arlington County / Flickr, CC Attribution 2.0 Generic

A strict interpretation of Nevada law reveals that collecting water with rain catchment systems, or rain barrels, is illegal. With ongoing drought conditions, Nevada’s state engineer Jason King says that there should be some exemptions. Bob Conrad of our media partner ThisisReno has the story.

The Governor’s drought forum was tasked with addressing the state’s water resource challenges and released its recommendations last month.

Forum member and State Engineer, Jason King, says that one suggestion is to change Nevada law so that rain collection on a small scale, up to a certain number of gallons, would be allowed. Rain collection on a large scale could impact existing water rights.

"Isn’t that water that would normally be running off, recharging aquifers and maybe making it into the streams where other people have water rights on those water resources and, therefore, the catchment of it would be in violation of their rights?” he asks.

This issue could be taken up in the next legislative session.

In the meantime, King says that the state does not enforce the use of rain barrels, but clarifying their use in law would encourage more statewide conservation.