I found it ironic the current issue of the Pine Cone has a front page article on water rationing possibly as soon as two years away, yet at last weeks Carmel Planning Commission Meeting two citizens were denied their applications for harvesting rainwater and storing it in above ground cisterns. The applicants purpose for collection and storage of rainwater was to irrigate their landscape and avoid additional use of precious Carmel River or Seaside Aquifer water from Cal Am. Planning Dept Staff presented both applications and recommended approval with conditions. However, planning council members decided that above ground cisterns ("garbage cans") located in someone's backyard were not acceptable. Carmel by the Sea's own Low Impact Development Guidance manual on the City website lists using a cistern for "maximizing rainfall interception" as a best management practice. Cisterns by any definition today are water storage devices used above or below ground. A state bill, AB 275, The Rainwater Capture Act of 2011, has been sent to the governor for signature. This bill recognizes the seriousness of water conservation and encourages the use of rain capture systems proposed by the applicant. We read about our local water problems daily and should encourage citizens to conserve water every way possible. Every other city on the peninsula allows for the use of above ground cisterns for water conservation and I hope the Planning Commission reconsiders these applications after they educate themselves on rainwater harvesting. As I currently understand from the MPWMD a moratorium on new water meter applications is currently in place and rationing is a high probability. Folks who want to install rainwater harvesting systems, above or below ground, should be encouraged and supported!