An Oregon landowner has been subjected to a 30-day prison sentence for what he says was a simple act of collecting rainwater on his own property. CNS News reports that Gary Harrington was convicted of nine misdemeanors and sentenced to 30 days in prison, as well as slapped with a $1,500 fine, for diverting snow runoff and rainwater into three reservoirs on his property, a move that local officials say violates an antiquated law governing personal water use.
Known as the “Rain Main,” Harrington reportedly built the reservoirs, which hold some 13 million gallons of water, for his own personal use. One of the reservoirs he stocked with largemouth bass for leisure purposes, and when wildfires emerge in the area, he says the water from this and the other two reservoirs can be used for mitigatory purposes. In Harrington’s mind, the operation is perfectly legal and a legitimate use of his own property.