09/14/13, 08:14 PM
Join Date: Jun 2012
While I'm sure there are many ways to say something to make your point of view, the fact remains that Colorado's laws are on the books, as well as others. And the law says what it says.
Maybe a better way to write the story is to say without government inspection, permits, and qualified usage rainwater collection is illegal.
If, how and when they enforce it is another issue, but apparently they had to go back and make some revisions in 2009, so there must have been some negativity that came from it.
Colorado had some of the nation’s strictest rainwater harvest laws, essentially prohibiting the practice. In 2009, two laws were passed that loosened restrictions.
CO SB 80 allowed residential property owners who rely on certain types of wells to collect and use rainwater. Colorado Revised Statutes §37-90-105
CO HB 1129 authorized 10 pilot projects where captured precipitation was used in new real estate developments for non-potable uses. Colorado Revised Statutes §37-60-115
Colorado water law declares that the state of Colo-
rado claims the right to all moisture in the atmos-
phere that falls within its borders and that “said
moisture is declared to be the property of the peo-
ple of this state, dedicated to their use pursuant” to
the Colorado constitution. According to the consti-
tution, water must be appropriated according to
priority of appropriation. As a result, in much of the
state, it is illegal to divert rainwater falling on your
property expressly for a certain use unless you
have a very old water right or during occasional
periods when there is a surplus of water in the river
system. This is especially true in the urban, subur-
ban, and rural areas along the Front Range. This
system of water allocation plays an important role
in protecting the owners of senior water rights that
are entitled to appropriate the full amount of their
decreed water right, particularly when there is not
enough to satisfy them and parties whose water
right is junior to them.
New Law Allowing Rainwater Collection in Colorado
Senate Bill 09-080, which was passed by the General Assembly and signed by the Governor during the
2009 legislative session, will allow certain property owners who rely on certain types of wells for their water
supply, limited collection and use of precipitation, only if:
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., or Section
37-90-105, 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 of a building that is used primarily as a
6. The water is used only for those uses that are allowed by, and identified on, the well
If you do not meet, at a minimum, ALL of the above criteria, then the change in the law does not affect you
and the current restrictions on collecting rainwater still apply. This law was effective on July 1, 2009.
This is from the Colorado state government, it goes on to outline the permitted use restrictions.