CWCB: Sterling Ranch rainwater catchments project first to be approved under HB 09-1129

A picture named cistern

Update: From INDT (John Rebchook):

The Colorado Water Conservation Board voted unanimously on Wednesday to name the 3,400-acre Sterling Ranch as the state’s first rainwater harvesting pilot project. Sterling Ranch’s innovative water conservation plan currently calls for using just one-third the water traditionally required in Douglas County—without relying on rainwater collection. With the rainwater pilot designation, Sterling Ranch will develop a new water source to be used for outside irrigation that could result in even more water supply savings. “We are very excited about this pilot project,” said Geoff Blakeslee, chairman of the Colorado Water Conservation Board, at the board meeting held in Salida…

Sterling Ranch estimates that at least half of the community’s outdoor irrigation demand can be met by capturing rainwater from storm drainage systems and rooftops in underground storage tanks or retention ponds. After being collected, it can be recycled to water the community’s lawns, gardens and open space.

From the Denver Business Journal (Paula Moore):

The proposed, $4.3 billion Sterling Ranch community in Douglas County will get the state’s first rainwater harvesting pilot project, ranch developers said Wednesday. The Colorado Water Conservation Board in Salida unanimously picked Sterling Ranch, which includes 3,400 acres, to have one of 10 such projects. The ranch will collect rainwater, from storm drainage systems and rooftops, and keep it in underground storage tanks or retention ponds. The water will be recycled for lawns, gardens and open space at the community. “This is a giant leap forward for water conservation,” Harold Smethills, principal at Sterling Ranch LLC and the project’s managing director, said in a statement. “It combines forward-thinking rainwater harvesting with Sterling Ranch’s vision for innovative water conservation…

The rainwater pilot project is part of the 2009 Colorado Legislature’s House Bill 1129, signed into law by Gov. Bill Ritter last June. The legislation permits 10 rainwater collection systems to be developed.

More conservation coverage here.

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