Success: Colorado Legalizes Rain Collection

640px-Rain-on-Thassos_by_Edal_Anton_Lefterov

Target: Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado

Goal: Commend the governor for legalizing the use of rain barrels for water conservation efforts.

Coloradans are elated following the legalization of private-use rain barrels as a means of water conservation. The bill raced through the state legislature and onto Governor John Hickenlooper’s desk, where it was signed thanks in part to the diligent advocacy of the ForceChange community. Pete Maysmith, executive director of the nonprofit group Conservation Colorado, called the bill-signing “a victory for Coloradans who care about their state’s incredible rivers, lakes, streams, and waters.” He continued by noting that “rain barrels are an important educational tool and a great first step toward conservation and increasing awareness about the water challenges facing Colorado.”

For a time, it appeared the bill would have died in committee like a similar bill did before. One of its staunchest opponents was state Senator Jerry Sonnenberg (R-Sterling), who also happens to be the chair of the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Energy Committee. His opposition to the rain barrel bill was rooted in strict interpretation of water laws dating back to when the Western United States was still relatively untamed, namely the system of prior appropriation. He argued that usage of rain barrels would defy “senior” water rights, especially when it comes to Big Agriculture.

State Senator Sonnenberg’s arguments were thoroughly discredited by a study conducted at Colorado State University. The study found that the use of rain barrels would not decrease the amount of surface runoff that would run to downstream users. Sonnenberg’s argument that the use of rain barrels would have that effect was a large portion of his argument against the bill.

With a law legalizing private rainwater collection in place, Coloradans can now recycle water, which will be very beneficial to a state that has been suffering from steady drought. Rain barrels help people have a better awareness of the water cycle and will improve water conservation ethic. Sign the petition applauding Governor Hickenlooper for legalizing rain barrels in the state of Colorado. Let’s also recognize the hard work of countless organizations, including ForceChange, that went into making this change happen.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Governor Hickenlooper,

Rainwater collection is one of the most effective ways to help the environment and combat drought. The passage of a bill legalizing rain barrels will help the public develop an appreciation for the water cycle and strengthen water conservation ethic.

It is with this in mind that we say thank you for signing the bill into law. Your signature will have a profound impact on water conservation in Colorado.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Edal Anton Lefterov

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12 Comments

  1. Laura Barnes says:

    Colorado’s No-Rain-Collection law was one of the top reasons we decided NOT to retire to Colorado. We’re off to Washington State instead – but happy Coloradans have more resources to work with now.

  2. not sure it is correct to thank the governor for approving a law this obvious. He should have done that a long time ago.
    Assume that solar panels are not allowed in Colorado because they reduce the solar energy that keeps the earth warm?

  3. Just an incredibly stupid “law”…..makes NO Sense to me…..as a child, I recall my grandmother catching rainwater in various containers and using it to wash her long hair….she swore by it, to keep her hair soft and healthy…..WHY on earth would collecting rain water be illegal?

  4. JOEUPYOURSCS says:

    demoRATS!

  5. This is a stupid law to even have been considered ! We live in Texas and Cisterns have been used for hundreds of years to collect water for use on our gardens . I live on a small farm and 100 year old house with two cistern wells for collecting rain water.
    Rain is perfectly sterile to drink as long as the container is clean , and is a blessing for gardens . The government is ridiculous to think they can stop people from collecting water that falls from the sky.

  6. Sherry Goodyear says:

    What an unbelievably stupid bunch of people. I just can’t imagine a government making a law making it ILLEGAL to collect rainwater. It boggles the mind.

  7. While I commend the maker of this petition to thank the Governer I definitely wont be signing it due to it being possibly the most ridiculous thing i have ever heard. How can collection of rainwater even be illegal? In the UK most people have a ‘water butt’ connected to their household guttering to collect rain water for watering their own gardens etc. It says alot about the US Government that they have the audacity to illegalize something like that. Reminds me of a story recently where it was made illegal in Florida to grow crops in your own garden. So much for the land of the free!!

  8. Fill out this field says:

    Thanks heavens for intelligent scientific research and not diddly hear-say

  9. Lisa Zarafonetis Lisa Zarafonetis says:

    Signed & Shared. ?

  10. I LIVE IN AUSTRALIA AND WE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN ENCOURAGED TO HAVE RAIN WATER TANKS, NOW AND 100 YEARS AGO, A LOT OF PEOPLE I KNOW HAVE INSTALED RAIN WATER TANKS IN THE LAST FEW YEARS IT IS THE SENSABLE THING TO DO AND SHOULD BE ENCOURAGED ALL OVER THE WORLD,

  11. Paul Armitage says:

    Only in a dictatorship could people be criminalized for collecting water. But as we all know (myopics notwithstanding) the USA is a terrorist state and any such madness is possible in that place.

  12. legalize rain collection worldwide now!

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