There are tons of people in the U.S. and around the world who practice this environmentally friendly and (basically) free practice on a daily basis. Collecting rainwater can be a fantastic way to reduce your dependence on treated water. The benefits of rainwater collection can be pretty endless. Whether you want to use rainwater for irrigation, bathing, or even drinking, etc.

There are states that have restrictions on rainwater collection and it's not just the dryer states you'll find on the west part of the country.

Unsplash - Frame Harirak
Unsplash - Frame Harirak

Is Collecting Rainwater Legal In Iowa?

Yes. It is perfectly fine to collect as much rainwater as your heart desires in the Hawkeye state. I wanted double check this because I would've guessed Iowa might have restrictions in some places but according to Wise Voter and Energy, there are no restrictions at all in Iowa.

There are even some states that have towns and municipalities that offer incentives, on a local level.

Wise Voter
Wise Voter

According to our map, there are some states, that I found a bit surprising, that have restrictions put into place and some of them are pretty dang close to Iowa.


Let's take a look at our neighbors to the northeast. You are legally allowed to collect rainwater but there are restrictions on what you can do with it. According to Wise Voter, rainwater can be used for agricultural irrigation, firefighting, and non-potable household uses.

You might be like me and wondering why are there restrictions in place. What's the point, it's just rainwater.

"The restrictions on rainwater collection in Wisconsin are primarily due to concerns about the state's water supply and the potential impact on aquatic ecosystems. The state wants to ensure that there is enough water available for all uses and that the use of rainwater does not have a negative impact on the environment."


According to our map from Wise Voter, there are restrictions in Illinois, when it comes to rainwater collection. Illinois' restrictions are a bit different than the state of Wisconsin. Collecting rainwater is only restricted in some areas because they want to "protect water quality and to ensure that water is available for future generations." 

Illinois' water resources are limited and it's believed the collection of rainwater could reduce the amount of water available to other users.


Ohio is another midwestern state that has placed restrictions on collecting rainwater and these restrictions are pretty comparable with Illinois. There are restrictions in some areas and they are in place to "protect the quality of water sources and to prevent contamination from pollutants and other sources."

According to Wise Voter, "The state's water resources are limited, and there are concerns that collecting rainwater could reduce the amount of water available to other users, such as farmers and other water users who rely on surface water sources."

I learned something new today. I've never really thought about it but there are plenty of states in the United States that have areas that restrict water collection and they aren't all on the west coast. Some of them are right next door to Iowa.

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