Illegal to Grow Crops in Utah with Rainwater

I recently attended a two-day Utah Division of Water Rights certification class. I was distressed to discover the antiquated state of Utah’s water rights regulations. Just to give an example, …

According to the Utah Division of Water Rights, it is illegal in the state of Utah to grow crops with water that falls as rain on your land. Yes, I did ask for clarification on this regulation, and it is the last question on the recorded two day session if you want to go verify that the answer from the Assistant State Engineer was indeed that using rain that fell on your land and soaked in to grow crops is illegal according to the Utah Division of Water Rights. (I also learned that nearly any water-usage can be made legal if you have enough money, by the way.)

This sounds like a regulation/law you’d find in a Jonathan Swift novel or the writings of Voltaire, not the modern laws of Utah. It amazes me that people that would have no problem explaining the “Velocity of Money” have no idea that the same applies to water, and have made rules that prohibit regenerative technologies like Permaculture, Gray Water usage, and Sustainable Agriculture from being applied in Utah.

Not only do most Utahns not know of these rules, I’m sure they would be shocked to learn of them.