2016 #coleg: Colorado Rain Barrel Bill Inches Forward, Earns House GOP Support — KUNC

Photo via the Colorado Independent
Photo via the Colorado Independent

From KUNC (Bente Birkeland):

Colorado is on the road to becoming the final state in the country to legalize rain barrels, after Democrats reached an agreement with several Republicans who opposed previous versions of the measure.

“It is a water right and what you have done with this, you have protected that water right,” said Rep. Don Coram (R-Montrose), who had voted against a rain barrel bill last session.

Now he said he can back it – and other Republicans are also on board with HB 16-1005 [.pdf].

“I’ve gotten a lot of emails asking for this bill, even though it may seem a trivial issue, it’s not to somebody who is very cognizant of Colorado water law,” said Rep. Bob Rankin (R-Carbondale). “And I would not have voted for it without the amendments.”

Rep. Jon Becker (R-Fort Morgan) sponsored one of the amendments. It clarifies that having a rain barrel is not a water right. It would also give the state engineer the ability to curtail rain barrel usage.

Another amendment would require the state engineer to write a report to the House and Senate agriculture committees if rain barrels are found to negatively impact downstream water users.

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