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Gary Harrington

Gary Harrington Sentenced to 30 Days in Jail for Collecting Rain Water? Fact-Check

Gary Harrington: In a world where rainwater can lead to legal trouble, one man finds himself in a battle for self-sufficiency and protection.

There has been a piece of circulating news for the past decade about a ma, named Gary Harrington, who was charged and sentenced to 30 days in prison for collecting rainwater in Oregon in 2012.

While this is a 2012 event, media, including blogs and websites never stop circulating the news about the man and emphasising how insane it sounds to be arrested and sentenced to prison just for “collecting rainwater.”

In 2012, Gary Harrington, a resident of Eagle Point, Oregon, faces an unexpected dilemma. He has been charged with constructing dams on his property to retain rainwater, which goes against the law.

The court has sentenced Gary to 30 days in jail and imposed a fine of $1,500.

Rainwater is a valuable resource that nourishes our environment and fills rivers, but in Oregon, diverting its natural flow without permission is strictly regulated.

Gary Harrington
Gary Harrington Rainwater case, featured Image

Gary’s intention was to store rainwater for wildfire protection, but the Oregon Water Resources Department has a different perspective, and both the first and second claims are according to popular saying on the internet as it is quite difficult to see official posts on the incidents due to internet statistical problems.

Tom Paul, Deputy Director of the Oregon Water Resources Department: “If you build a dam, interrupt the water’s flow, and store it on your property, you need a water rights permit from us.”

The dams Gary built, some as high as 15 feet, were capturing water that flowed into a nearby creek, owned by the City of Medford.

Gary appealed his conviction and jail sentence, determined to fight for his right to use rainwater for protection.

While collecting rainwater from your roof or driveway remains exempt under Oregon’s water rights law, Gary’s case highlights the complex issues of water management and personal freedom.

Gary Harrington: FactCheck

A photo circulating on social media claims to show an American man who was jailed for collecting rainwater, stating that rainwater is considered state property. However, this claim is misleading. The man in the photo was actually jailed for illegally constructing reservoirs in Oregon back in 2012.

The report explains that the man, Gary Harrington, built three reservoirs on his property to collect rainwater, which went against a state law stating that all water is publicly owned.

He had accumulated around 13 million gallons of water, equivalent to 20 Olympic-size swimming pools. As a result, he was found guilty, sentenced to 30 days in jail, and fined $1,500 for violating the 1925 Oregon law against private water collection.

While this is the fact behind the story, the use of social media has posed more threats than good for the past few decades. The freedom to put on the internet anything you like without anyone questioning seems somehow.

Even before the so-called questioning, it would have reached millions of people who would never come back to hear the facts as they would have picked their side of the story as per their socio-cultural, religious and political inclinations.

Gary Harrington: Resources

Tadese Faforiji

I am Tadese Faforiji, a history student of the prestigious Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State- 21st-century University, properly called. I am a blogger and an avid writer.