There are things that people can take for granted. Sunlight, air, privacy, freedom, and water. In the United States, water in most states is a property ownership issue that conveys with the minerals rights of a property. If you buy a property with minerals, you are usually even taxed on this “asset.”
In some states this asset is broken down separately into water rights. You can literally sell the water rights of a property. In Texas, these are commonly leased for raising cattle. Obviously, this includes the streams that exist due to rainwater.
Increasingly, states are encroaching on people’s’ rights to their own water. In parts of the county we reside in, the local water agency is gradually forcing people to give us their wells and accept treated public water – at a price of course – establishing for the local government a tidy little monopoly and usurping people’s ability to use an asset on their own property.
In the other version of this states are claiming ownership over rainwater. How they manage to pass this type of legislation with a straight face is beyond me, but it is very real. Please read the following two articles that show real cases and the consequences. As you read these, please remember that water-run off issues have become a major government battle ground. For-example, due to the Chesapeake Bay Act, any construction with soil disturbance must have barriers to hold the water and prevent it from running too quickly and eroding creeks and water ways. Governments claim that it is necessary to slow the water in order to prevent flash-flooding. In the Oregon article that follows, they are playing the issue both ways.