Colorado now joins the rest of the nation in allowing people to use rain barrels on their properties. HB 16-1005 allows residents to collect up to 110 gallons of rainwater, a huge win for water conservation. The new law is not expected to have a noticeable effect on downstream users, as studies have shown nearly 100% of rainfall is evaporated off the ground or used up by plants before it could reach them. The bill passed through both the State House and Senate and was officially signed into law by Governor Hickenlooper yesterday.
Pete Maysmith, Executive Director of Conservation Colorado, believes this is an important step in the right direction for the state. He says, “This is a victory for Coloradans who care about their state’s incredible rivers, lakes, streams, and waters. Rain barrels are an important educational tool and a great first step toward conservation and increasing awareness about the water challenges facing Colorado. Water conservation is the cheapest, fastest, and most flexible water strategy we have to addressing these challenges.”
Rain barrels are yet another tool to help people connect with their water and foster a culture of conservation in Colorado residents. Water from rain barrels is enough to use for a small garden and may not have a huge effect on overall water usage, but they are invaluable for giving people another reason to think about water, one of the most important issues in our state. As climate change and decreased snowpack continue to change our water outlook here in Colorado, it is more important than ever to give people a reason to connect with their water, see when it is falling (or not), and how much they really use.
Photo of the celebration of the signing of rain barrel legislation with Governor Hickenlooper, Representative Esgar and Representative Danielson.
Photo Credit: Rachel Carillo