31st July 2012
Arural Eagle Point man was sentenced to 30 days in jail Wednesday for filling what state water managers have called three illegal reservoirs on his property.
Gary Harrington was also fined more than $1,500 for nine misdemeanor convictions for filling his reservoirs with rain and snow runoff that the state says is owned by the Medford Water Commission. He was given two weeks to report to the Jackson County Jail to begin serving his sentence.
Oregon is, of course, a blue state.
At the center of the case was a 1925 state law giving the water commission exclusive rights to all the water in Big Butte Creek, its tributaries and Big Butte Springs — the core of the city’s municipal water supply.
In court filings Harrington had argued that he’s not diverting water from the creek system, merely capturing rainwater and snowmelt from his 172 acres along Crowfoot Road.
Wrong, Alpo breath.
Harrington has maintained that this runoff, called “diffused water,” does not fall under the state water-resources jurisdiction and does not violate the 1925 act.
In the past, water managers have concluded that the runoff is a tributary of nearby Crowfoot Creek and thus subject to the law.
All your rainwater belong to us.