Water Collection in Colorado

Colorado is very strict about its water. Because of the Continental Divide and the Rocky Mountains, water for the country can very well be traced back to Colorado. This was the cause for water rights and has now caused any precipitation that comes into Colorado ownership of the state. Water collection is out of the question because of these tight water laws. The only people who could collect water were those who had old water rights or occasionally when there is a surplus of water in the rivers.

My last post discusses this issue and I promised to address the law today. Well, to my surprise, the law has now changed. I read in my local newspaper that effective July 1st, rainwater and snowmelt collection will be permissible. I found the news a little ironic due to the post I had written the day before, but it couldn’t have come at a better time because of the blog I had promised the readers. Sadly, the law is too good to be true.

I did some more research into the topic and found that the law is not as open as it may sound. It only applies to residential buildings and to those people who have a well or a well permit. This means that mostly only rural people are able to collect rain water. It goes on to state that you can only use the water that you have collected for purposes that your permit state. For some this means for only household uses. If that is your case, than you wouldn’t be able to use the water for gardening and possibly even lawn work. Above that, you would not be able to use it for filling any sort of landscape pond or hot tub. It could be used inside the house for drinking and cleaning.

The problem that I see with this law is that not many people have a well and/or well permit. The people who would benefit most from rain water collection live in the suburbs or city and use city water. These are the ones who have to pay for their water and would benefit from using less of it. The other problem with the law is that you can’t use the water for gardening. This is not the safest water for drinking and would need plenty of filtration before being consumed. That could be costly. I believe that the water falls on an individual’s property and they should be able to do with it as they like. I will admit though that is a good step in the right direction. Hopefully, people will try to fight this more; make the government see that water collection is beneficial to people and the environment. One day, everyone in Colorado will be able to collect their water and do as they please with it.

Now, if you are a builder in Colorado, you can make this more capable for individuals. If you are planning on making a subdivision that shares a water source, you can implement a mass collection system in your development that can be shared with the individuals of the subdivision. There is a completely different law for that, but it is a great idea for a good green building. These are just the small steps that we can take to making this a more ecolonomic world.

If you know of any laws in your area that are prohibiting you from doing something ecolonomic please let me know. I would love to research it more and shed light on the topic for other readers.

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