Is it Illegal to Collect Rainwater in Louisiana?
Annual rainfall amounts in Louisiana vary, depending on where in the state you live. In north Louisiana, annual precipitation rates range is about 50 inches per year, but about 70 inches in some locations in the southeast portions of the state. According to statesummaries.ncics.org, annual rainfall for the state averages from 36.6 inches in 1924 to 79.5 inches in 1991.
But, as we are very well aware, during these long, hot summer days, we can go several days to weeks without any substantial rainfall. These dry days precipitate the need to water yards, flower beds, and gardens to keep things vibrant and alive. And in order to have extra water on hand for just such projects, some people like to collect rainwater. And although it isn't actually illegal to collect rainfall in any state, several states have restrictions on residents collecting rainwater.
According to WiseVoter.com, some of the restrictions include restricting how the rainwater can be used, the size of the rainwater collection system, some may require the use of a certified, licensed plumber, or even just requiring a permit.
The reasons for restrictions vary by state but may include concerns about the impact on downstream water users, concerns about the safety of the collected water, and concerns about the impact on the local ecosystem. For example, in Colorado, the restrictions are in place to protect the state’s water rights system, which is based on a “first in time, first in right” principle. In California, the restrictions are in place to protect endangered species that rely on water sources in the region. In Utah, the restrictions are in place to ensure that there is enough water available for downstream users and to protect water quality. Despite the restrictions, some of these states still allow rainwater collection for certain uses, such as landscaping or toilet flushing, with the appropriate permits and restrictions in place.
States With Rainwater Collection Restrictions
Other states not only don't have any restrictions, but may even offer incentives for those who collect rainwater. Louisiana is one of the states that has no restrictions or requirements on collecting rainwater.
States With No Restrictions
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
States That Offer Rainwater Collection Incentives
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island