S.B. 09-080, Precipitation Collect Limited Exemptions

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State Senator Jim Isgar’s bill that would allow limited rainwater catchments for rural properties that have an “exempt” well has passed the Colorado House, according to a report from Charles Ashby writing for the Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

The measure, SB80, allows for the collection of rainwater from up to 3,000 square feet of roof, but only from a residence that is not connected to a domestic water system that serves more than three single-family homes. Additionally, the water can only be used for ordinary household purposes, fire protection, watering of livestock and irrigation up to 1 acre of gardens or lawns. “This is another historical moment in Colorado water law,” said Rep. Marsha Looper, R-Calhan. “For over 100 years, the state engineer would tell you that it’s against the law to capture rainwater in rain barrels. This will allow us to relieve stress and pressure from our groundwater supplies and our stream systems.”

Under the bill, property owners who want to collect rainwater must get a permit from the engineer’s office, and pay a fee for it. The bill, which cleared the Senate early last month, requires a final House vote. Because of changes in the House Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources Committee, it will have to return to the Senate to agree to those changes before it can head to Gov. Bill Ritter’s desk.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here and here.

2 thoughts on “S.B. 09-080, Precipitation Collect Limited Exemptions

  1. I submit that this is the height of folly for our elected official to be discussing much less passing a law that suggests I must pay a fee and get a permit to collect precipitation that falls on my roof! Surely this is some kind of joke. We are fast approaching a time when ” throw all the rascals out” will be the only way to return our governments to sanity!

    1. Raymond,

      Actually the legislature is trying to legislate a practice that is common but violates Colorado water law. In this case they are not “rascals” but are representing constituents. Colorado water law holds that precipitation is “tributary” to surface water in a given watershed and therefore subject to prior appropriation.

      Thanks for commenting.

      John Orr

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