posted on Aug, 9 2012 @ 11:45 AM
So, in reading more about this, it appears that Harrington wasn't diverting streams as initially inferred, but was only collecting diffuse surface
water, which is essentially run-off without a defined course. Normally the capture of diffuse surface water is perfectly legal so long as the water is
only used on that land and it doesn't interfere with natural waterways, etc.
However, the 1925 act the article references appropriates the entire watershed for municipal use, which would override the state's laws about diffuse
The argument here is twofold: the language of the 1925 act is somewhat vague and could be interpreted to mean only defined streams, creeks, and
rivers. If, in fact, the 1925 act does not cover diffuse surface water, then it subsequently does not trigger the appropriations defined therein and
thus the department has no regulatory authority over Harrington's reservoirs.
This is sticky, but given his close proximity to a major drainage and the topography of his property, he is right on the very edge of it being
'diffuse' and directed runoff into a major drainage.
His lawyer's rundown of the case: