The American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association strongly supports Colorado’s legislative efforts to allow rainwater harvesting and encourages the Colorado Senate to pass HB 15-1259, legalizing the use of residential rain barrel.  After having been passed by the Colorado House with broad bipartisan support, the bill now resides in the Colorado Senate’s Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy Committee.

Currently outlawed in the state of Colorado, the only state to prohibit it (Utah and Washington recently allowed similar simple harvesting systems), adoption of this bill would allow its citizens to collect rain in two 55-gallon rain barrels, which could then be used for landscape watering to modestly reduce potable water consumption.

In his letter of support to Colorado legislators, ARCSA President David Crawford noted that this legislation is an outstanding first step in allowing citizens proactive management of their water use and supplies, which could ultimately reduce stress on limited water supplies.

Crawford added that rainwater harvesting builds greater awareness of this precious resource, which would help Coloradans understand and deal with water challenges facing their state. Even two rain barrels promotes understanding of how water cycles through nature. Among the valuable lessons taught include how much rain one can harvest from roofs, how much landscapes use, and how much potable water consumption can be reduced. He also pointed out that harvesting rainwater does not consume the commodity, but rather slows it down for better utilization by all, including downstream users.