Collecting Rainwater to Increase Water Conservation

(March 16) – The House Agriculture, Livestock & Natural Resources Committee passed a bill on a bipartisan vote this afternoon allowing Coloradans to collect and store rainwater off of their roofs, which is currently illegal.

HB15-1259, sponsored by Reps. Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo, and Jessie Danielson, D-Wheat Ridge, will let someone collect the rain off their roof in up to two rain barrels. The water can be used to maintain a small garden or water flowers and cannot be collected in barrels larger than 50 gallons or be used for indoor household purposes.

The bill does not threaten downstream water users because as a recent study from the Colorado Water Conservation Board showed 97 percent of rain that falls on a residential lot never makes it to a stream or river system. It is designed to increase awareness of water conservation especially in urban and suburban areas.

“Collecting and using rainwater should not be illegal in Colorado,” said Rep. Esgar after the 8-5 committee vote. “This is a common-sense fix to help increase water conservation.”

“This is a good way to get suburban and urban residents practicing water conservation,” Rep. Danielson said. “It is another tool in the toolbox to preserve our most precious natural resource.”

The bill will now be heard on the House floor.

releasesRachel Caine