Colorado rainwater harvesting — legally harvesting the rain that falls on your property is limited by prior appropriation

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There is a nexus between groundwater and the surface water streams and that is the premise used to limit rainwater harvesting in Colorado. A portion of the precipitation that falls on your property would end up in groundwater and therefore surface streams and has most likely already been appropriated since most streams in Colorado are over-appropriated. Here’s a look at the legal means available to Coloradans that want to capture rainwater for irrigation, from Charmaine Ortega Getz writing in the Boulder Weekly. From the article:

For more information on our state’s water laws and what is currently permitted, check out “Graywater Reuse and Rainwater Harvesting” from the Colorado State University extension at http://www.ext.colostate. edu/pubs/natres/06702.html.

And for a more hands-on kind of how-to, there are local classes to check out.

Transition Colorado and Real Earth Design! are offering weekend workshops April 16-17. The cost is $65 each day. Information and registration are available at http://www.transitioncolorado. org/events.php. For more information, contact Jason Gerhardt by calling 303-258-7982 or by e-mail at

In addition, Harlequin’s Gardens is offering a one-day “Introduction to Rainwater Harvesting” class on Saturday, July 16, at 1:30 p.m. The cost is $15, and early registration is strongly encouraged. Harlequin’s is located at 4795 N. 26th St. in Boulder, and can be reached at 303- 939-9403. Also see http://www.harlequins

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