There’s good news for rural homeowners in the long battle for rainwater harvesting in Colorado! Senate Bill 09-080 recently passed in the General Assembly and was signed by the Governor. This bill allows limited collection and use of precipitation for landowners starting July 1, 2009 if all of the following requirements are met:
1. The property on which the collection takes place is residential property, and
2. The landowner uses a well, or is legally entitled to a well, for the water supply, and
3. The well is permitted for domestic uses according to Section 37-92-602, C.R.S., (generally, this means the permit number will be five or six digits with no “-F” suffix at the end), and
4. There is no water supply available in the area from a municipality or water district, and
5. The rainwater is collected only from the roof, and
6. The water is used only for those uses that are allowed by, and identified on, the well permit.
While this makes rain (and snow) harvesting allowed only for certain limited cases, it is a huge step forward in Colorado water law, which has been entrenched in staunch resistance to rainwater harvesting. It is clear that sustainable practices are becoming more readily accepted by the general public, and hopefully, in time, more of the limitations can be removed and the practices can be legalized for all property owners.