Can you collect rain that falls on your house and property in Utah?  

When early pioneers settled Utah, they realized early on that water was a limited resource. Brigham Young and later other government officials did not want people hoarding water and set up laws in a way that would allow them to use water found on their property, but not own it.

As long as the water was being used efficiently, the landowner could continue to use it, but if it was no longer needed, the water went back to the public. 

This policy resulted in many still thinking that collecting rainwater is illegal in Utah. This is not true. You can collect rainwater, but it is regulated. In 2011 and 2013 bills were passed that specified how much water can be collected. 

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The Utah State University Extension office gives some really good information for harvesting rainwater. The rainwater you harvest has to be used on the parcel of land it is collected on and cannot exceed 2,500 gallons. There is a lot of information about barrels and ways to collect the water as well as building codes. 

So how much water could you collect in Southern Utah? According to the site, in the month of April you could collect 262 gallons off your roof. However, in May and June it drops to 87 gallons per month.  

Considering the average person uses 100 gallons of water per day, harvesting rainwater isn’t going to make a big dent in your water bill. It is still kind of cool to think you’re storing up and using your own water, and it could certainly keep your garden going and grow some tomatoes. 


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