Asked on May 1, 2012

We are wanting to start up a rainwater harvesting installation business in New Mexico. Can you tell me what kind of lice

Kevin M. Veler, Law Office ofSherrie SKMS Woodworks


6 answers
  • KMS Woodworks
    on May 1, 2012

    Here in Colorado it is actually illegal to Harvest rain water. Western water laws are weird and complex. I'm not sure how the specifics of the law are detailed in New Mexico, but I do know that rainwater harvesting is practiced in some locations. The Earthships in the Greater World Community outside of Taos are routinely set up to collect rain and snow melt. My guess would be to call the local government office ( your county) and ask them what is needed Depending on the scale of your designs (50 gal) rain barrel to 3000 gal underground cisterns. You may also need some extra paper work like an excavation contractor.

  • I agree with Kevin. Western water laws are much different than here in the east (although given the water wars that are ongoing, things will be changing). Start with your local government resources, the SBA and state development agencies to learn the ins and outs of the local rules. Local conservation groups may also have some resources that can useful and developing those connections will be helpful to your business. I also suggest you develop contacts with a good local business attorney who can walk you through issues regarding incorporation and operations (including licensing and permit requirements).

  • Sherrie S
    on May 7, 2012

    KMS, when you say you can't harvest water do you mean you can't collect it (like from your roof?) If so I think your laws are worse than my HOA laws. Maybe I don't understand the meaning of harvest.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on May 8, 2012

    Sherrie that is exactly it...the water that "falls" on my land or roof is not is allocated to someone else per ancient western water laws. here is an article written by a fellow Coloradan and Hometalk member.

  • Sherrie S
    on May 8, 2012

    Yikes, I thought you were just being KMS and joking. My HOA allows me to collect all of the water I can possibly collect. Sometimes HOA's are OK.

  • The water laws west of the Mississippi have been different from those of east a long time. However, now that there are water wars in the east (GA, AL and FL), there are changes coming especially with climate change.

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