FINALLY The Freedom to Collect Rainwater: Colorado Law Weighs “Increased Competition For Limited Water”

by | May 18, 2016 | Aftermath, Conspiracy Fact and Theory | 56 comments

water

This article was written by Baran Hines and originally published at TrueActivist.com.

Editor’s Comment: Water is enough to start fights and war over in Colorado… the state’s constitution has give the government authority over its distribution, and for a long time rainwater collection, even on your own property, has been banned. Now, Gov. Hickenlooper has signed a law that eases up those tough restrictions.

For once, it is actual good news for preppers, homesteaders and the self-reliant, but it is nothing to take for granted. Those who hold senior water rights and farmers who get the windfall of the water are largely against it, and it has restricted personal freedom until now.

Colorado Governor Signs Law Allowing Residents To Collect Rainwater On Their Property

Colorado residents will now be able to collect rainwater on their property after a new bill was signed Thursday by Governor John Hickenlooper. Rainwater surface runoff in Colorado is protected by strict laws to prevent the flow of rainwater from being significantly reduced for people who hold senior water rights downstream.

Colorado residents will be allowed to store up to 110 gallons of rainwater in two 55-gallon barrels.

The bill takes effect in August 2016 unless a petition is filed for a voter referendum, meaning the proposal would be voted on by the public in the November elections.

Colorado’s farmers have been divided over the proposed law with opponents claiming rainwater collection barrels would decrease the amount of surface runoff which provides water to downstream areas.

As a compromise, language to preserve prior-appropriation rights was added after the House bill passed in February, to protect the water supply guaranteed to those with older rights. The new law also enables oversight from the state engineer and directs them to study the effects of the changed law over a 3-year period.

According to the Denver Post, the Colorado Farm Bureau was an opponent of the bill until those caveats were added.

State Senator Jerry Sonnenberg was one of the biggest voices in opposition to the new law but called the state oversight directive to study the observed effects of a “saving grace” for water rights holders.

Water law is so important in Colorado that it is included in the state’s original constitution and managed by a state agency.

“That’s hard for people to understand when the state owns all the water and is charged in the constitution to distribute that water,” Sen. Sonnenberg told Denver’s 9NEWS.

The bill was helped by a recent study by Colorado State University which found that the use of rainwater collection barrels would not significantly decrease the amount of surface runoff flowing downstream.

The bill’s passage comes amid an increasing number of Colorado initiatives to conserve resources and reduce strain on the environment.

Colorado’s Water Conservation Board recently released the Colorado Water Plan in November 2015 as part of the state’s new effort to increase sustainability of water supplies, following on an executive order from Governor Hickenlooper. The new plan is part of the state’s increased effort for reducing water scarcity in Colorado and downstream flow to western states. The plan aims to create measurable goals as increased competition further strains the limited water resources in the state.

What do you think of this new law?

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    Comments

    56 Comments

    1. Braveheart1776

      I always thought it was stupid to ban people from collecting any rainwater on their property for personal use. The BOL has a water catchment system with filters going into four 55-gallon drums. It never hurts to have extra water stored at your home. the rest of the family who live close by also collect and store rainwater for their own use.

      • Menzoberranzan

        Screw the bastards that think they own the rain. All our times are coming where we will have to make the decision to blows these fucker’s brains out or surrender and be slaves. It’s getting so close I can smell it.

        • Apache54

          Menzo,
          My opinion ( for what it is worth ) the Colorado law or ANY state that has law trying to control ANY water that comes from the sky is NOT valid and any law makers trying to enforce that should be hung from the nearest tree, some things are totally OFF limits and the people need to stand up( most are cowards ) call B. S. on this type of stuff! i am sick and tired of all this crap of taking away everything this country ever stood for!

          • durangokidd

            If I lived in Colorado, I would distill the water in my 55 gallon rain barrels and repackage into empty distilled plastic one gallon jugs from FRY’S with the screw tight top during the year, keeping my collection barrels 3/4 full.

            You can have as many of those as you want. 🙂

            • Rebecca

              Durango
              I had already thought of that. Once the water is filtered, hard to say it is rainwater.

          • Menzoberranzan

            Apache54, Yes it has reached the point of being ridiculous and just in your face tyranny. It will come to each of our doors.

      • TEST

        If I am in Colorado when it is raining, and I look up and accidentally open my mouth and ingest some rain, will I be imprisoned?

        Just asking

    2. Old Guy

      They could build terraces and add compost and organic material and hold the rain water on their property. I know a guy in florida where its illegal to have a rain barrel. He parks a old aluminum V bottom boat to catch the gutter water. the boat is on a trailer and he moves it to his garden and pulls the plug at the rear to water his stuff.

      • cranerigger

        Old Guy, that’s a great way to accomplish the task without yanking the government chain. Even when that chain is idiotic and illegal. We have lots of ways to complete our tasks under the radar. Thanks for the example.

      • JAS

        It’s not illegal in Florida, but if you collect it you must still use it under the same guidance as city water. I have a catchment system, but I keep mine hidden so no one knows I have water. The last thing you want is people knowing you have a large storage of water when times get hard.

      • hammerhead

        i dont have ti hide the fact that i catch roof runoff.
        All my gutters flow into a big (new and clean) burried septic tank.
        Works great ! Nobodies business if i catch runoff .
        I paid for the roof dammit !

      • Winston Smith

        Another excellent way to do it in Florida is with a functioning in ground pool (very common in the gunshine state). Just make a section of PVC pipe that can be attached to one or more rain gutters and fed into the pool. This is also a neat way of filling your pool in the summer time if you need to (just use a 5 gallon bucket and some screen to build a filter for aggregate washing off the shingles). It also gives you far more water storage capacity than you would ever get with rain barrels and will not draw public attention since it is in your back yard. As for the chlorine, it evaporates out of the pool after not running it for a few days. At that point, you would have to use a filtration system to use it, but you probably already own one if you prep.

    3. B from CA

      In Africa, water rights are written into their relatively new Constitution as a human right, therefore the people, rich or poor, receive a certain amount of tap water for free. In poor areas where people can not afford to pay for additional water, the people break into the pipes and help themselves in order to water gardens.

      In Colorado, the water in dispute is coming from the clouds in the sky. Government people can pass whatever insane laws claiming dibs on the moon, but do they really have a natural right to the moon, to Andromeda, or to rainwater. To my thinking, the answer is a resounding “NO”.

      Private property rights being trashed is an act of betrayal against the inhabitants of this country. Respect for the rights of private property and collection of the water that rains on that property is not ethically the government employees right to claim. Period.

      So, long story short: yes, I agree with the “law allowing” Colorado land owners to collect rain water.

      I think it stinks to all heaven that there are people in this world who are so cruel that they would try to keep people from such a critical necessity as a little water. Money hungry very bad people. Now if someone built a dam on a River running through his property, that is a different story.

    4. Anonymous

      110 gallons of water is the average amount of water used per day in the US.

      How generous of Colorado to “allow” citizens one fucking days worth of water.

      Assholes.

    5. ciero2003

      I had lived in Colorado Springs during the drought years and had a barrel piped from the rain gutter to be used for irrigation purposes. I never camouflaged or hid it. So I’m not sure what level of enforcement was brought to the law. The bigger loss was/is the run off from rain storms that hit the area. With so much development, the runoff has no where to be absorbed and ends up being a torrid river carrying kids & dogs off. Catch & abatement systems would go a long ways to help the situation out there.

    6. dave in idaho

      Can you believe that someone wrote a LAW prohibiting people collecting rain from GOD. How about the air. Will some Jackass shit stain liberal write a law stating the gov owns the air too. Now some suckass gov is a hero for “allowing” you to collect something that God owns, as if it was theirs to begin with. (sorry for the copyright infringement Ron). Where in the fuck is O2(genius)? got drunk and fell down the steps? Working again?

      • Satori

        ummm
        do I need to point out that the main beneficiaries of these draconian laws are ranchers and farmers
        the majority of whom consider themselves “conservatives” ???

        • Billy Hill

          No, you sure don’t need to point that out.

          But sadly I DO need to point out the fact that that does not give them the right to lay claim to water that falls on your property.

          I suppose using that same, failed logic, you would also point out that, since they’re farmers, they can also come and take all the other food you grow/raise on your property.

          Stupidity SHOULD be painful.

          • Satori

            uhhh
            I think you missed the point entirely

            • Billy Hill

              That’s very possible. I did hear something whiz by overhead as I was typing my reply. Was that the point?

              • Rebecca

                Billy Hill
                I suspect the point was that those dadblamed Republicans passed those laws in the first place… not stinking liberals.

      • Whatever Works

        My thoughts exactly.

    7. rellik

      I’ve lived in a few places that seem to think they own water that falls from the sky. They might have an argument if the water hits the ground, but water from my roof is mine!
      I have two tanks with total capacity of 34,000 gallons. The government refuses to provide me with government water so I’m on my own, and they don’t mess with me. I’ve provided my own water since 2000 at a cost of about $42 per month. Thats tanks, covers, pumps, sterilizer, bulbs, and maintenance. That’s high, but I won’t get lead poisoning from some Democrat trying to save some money, nor do I need to have some Democrat tell me how much water I can have every month, nor do I need to pay the SOB Democrat whatever tariffs they decide.
      Folks do what ever you can to get off grid.
      Like stupid gun laws, everyone should ignore nanny state laws.

    8. Satori

      Bob Graham: 9/11 support goes to the top of Saudi government

      h ttps://www.yahoo.com/katiecouric/bob-graham-on-declassifying-portions-of-the-911-163328582.html

      nice to know that our CORRUPT government has kept this secret for over a decade

      F_CK Bush/Cheney and Obama, traitors all

      and lest I forget
      the Saudi’s can burn in hell,Saudi Arabia should be declared a terrorist state

      • Jackson

        The Kingdom has been played by the Omaha boyz- they were led down the garden path (CIA flight school, Bush/binLaden Inc., Airline stock shorting, defense drills the same morning, etc ad nauseum).
        If the Saudis start getting sued, I bet the US will just print & pay them the lawsuit money to keep the bones buried…

      • durangokidd

        If 911 support goes to the top of the Saudi Government (Prince Bandar) and it does, you can bet the farm it goes to the top of the Shadow Government in the USA: Cheney/CIA/GHWB/Mossad.

        W was never brought into the loop which you can see by the “deer in the headlights” look on his face when he was given the news.

        The ability to sue the Saudis will generate court cases under a TRUMP ADMINISTRATION and ultimately, disclosure as the Saudis will rat out Cheney and others at the top of the US Government.

        OWTFH !!! 🙂

    9. Anonymous

      Fuck them they don’t own the rain.They don’t want people collecting water because that’s less in the reservoir for the water board to sell to nestle waters and companies like that. They want total control over water food because they will have total rule over everyone. Once they get guns away from people you’ll see the slip knot tightened.

      • Marie

        I agree totally with Anon. Once they take away the guns then the noose will be tightened. Yep! Maybe that;s why all these “laws” are put in place so that once the guns are gone people have NO sayso. Yep!

        I have a good amount of water here in NY. So far no drought, but it has not been raining enuf. If it keeps up there will be drought this summer. They keep predicting rain, but it never happens…mostly i think due to the chemtrails. They suck up the moisture and clouds are gone and no rain. I got a sump pump outa the wall, pumps water into a gigantic cow tub. I use the water for my duks. I NEED that water. I sometimes have to ration it. I give them clean drinking water, but can’t fill the pool up cept once a wk. They won’t swim in dirty water i noticed! But since it’s not raining enuf i have to make sure i have enuf drinking water for them. Last resort is to use the well water which i hate to do. I’m ok for now. It’s only raining like once a month here and very little rain for April and May. I believe it’s the chemtrails. Now that they have made the West droughtened they want to concentrate on the East coast to make drought so we can’t even grow our own food!!! Yeah the sh_t is coming soon !!

    10. Anonymous

      THIS will encourage you!

      From the always reliable CNSNews http://cnsnews.com/news/article/melanie-hunter/ny-giants-rashad-jennings-moral-landscape-world-quickly-declining. Video 3 something minutes.

      NY Giants’ Rashad Jennings: ‘The Moral Landscape of This World Is Quickly Declining’ [+video]

      By Melanie Hunter. In a commencement speech at Liberty University, a private Christian university in Lynchburg, Va., New York Giants running back Rashad Jennings said Saturday that the “moral landscape of this world is quickly declining” and graduates will be “tested to have patience with Christ-like tolerance.” Jennings said graduates are entering a different world than he did when he received his degree at Liberty. “The moral landscape of this world is quickly declining. Throughout life, you will be tested to hold your biblical truth. You will be tested to have patience with Christ-like tolerance, and you will be tested to hold your spiritual fortitude and your convictions by the remembrance that it is by and for a Holy God that you stand or fall, and he can make you stand,” Jennings said.

      Point is, here is a wealthy, successful, intelligent black man who has NOT bought into the horse manure of the culture today. Let’s see how many more young people like this we can create!

      • durangokidd

        Its not creating them that is the problem. There are alot of them out there. They just don’t get the exposure that others get.

        Like Diamond and what’s her name. 🙂

      • DAMed in NY

        Yes, Anonymous – we just drove south to attend a college graduation and wasn’t sure what to expect. It began with the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer with all standing. The address was given by Ret. Brig General Wolf who discussed the need for these graduates to have personal responsibility and integrity and how they would be tested in today’s world. He stressed the importance of making the right moral decisions and not going with the flow. Nice to hear.

    11. Ketchupondemand

      yeah, agree how damn generous the state of Colorado is..110 fricken gallons. That’s pathetic.
      I’m not sure if it’s illegal to collect rain where I live (I don’t think it is), but nobody needs to know I have 2,100 gallons in storage with a solar powered pump.
      We get enough rain except for a couple months a year so we use municipal water a little. I’d like more tanks/capacity but there’s better things to spend $ on. Plenty of clean water creeks nearby. Water is never going to be a problem.

      Off topic, many will know this but some won’t. A few years ago I was sifting thru the net about fire ants and found the Univ. of Texas website. I found topographic maps that the US Army made of every single hill and dale and mountain and plain and everything about where I live. And they surely have your county mapped. Probably better by now. Just wanted you to know.

      • Rebecca

        Ketchup
        I pulled this information for my 14 acres in Texas. Very thorough, and had topsoil depth, soil type, elevations, everything. It was compiled in the 1930s. If you ask for help from your Ag college, they pull this information. Oddly enough I couldn’t find this level of detailon my New Mexico property, but did show elevations, soil based on Pennsylvanian era substrate, etc. I do have a lot of Pennsylvanian fossils showing. This is a very old program authorized in the murky past.

    12. 2isone

      There are two spec houses down the road that haven’t sold because they have a spring wetting the street in front of them. The foundation work opened it up.

      We are relatively close to one of the sources of Ozarka spring water. BTW, spring locations are one of the hardest things to find online. They are possible to find by name placements and old watersheds. Where we live, we are subject to flash flooding on the streets around here, but things drain off really quickly and the water heads down towards Houston. It was one of my criteria when we moved to have water access. We could theoretically get it fresher than Flint out of the street during a shower.

      Two barrels of water??? How generous.

    13. TEST

      Just sent this out to the public relations person at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. Wonder if they will reply!

      Ms. Rodgers,

      I plan to visit Shedd Aquarium in the near future, and have a question for you. With all the recognition of the rights of the LGBTQ community today – which I am sure you fully agree with – I would like to know if you will allow me, in the interest of intellectual and moral consistency, to use the dolphin pool as a “washroom,” should the need arise. You see, Ms. Rodgers, I have always identified as a dolphin – I love swimming, taking baths, and really enjoyed watching Flipper as a child. I knew very early that I was a dolphin, despite the oppressive human-centric bias against us who identify as porpoises, despite having two legs and opposing thumbs.

      I do hope you will provide the same respect to us dolphins who happen to have a human-like body, and that Shedd will quickly approve of us in the LGBTQ-D community.

      You may also wish to consider providing litterboxes for people who identify as cats – see this woman here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gWXwbToNpA or this former person who now identifies as a horse https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rc1GG7L8bM

      Copying a few others here who also identify as porpoises. Perhaps we’ll all visit as a group! Please also provide your reasoning, should you answer in the negative, as I would be very curious to understand why biology is determinative for only some, and not all.

      Thank you,

      Flipper Jim

      • Ketchupondemand

        excellent Test! Let us know if they answer you. I don’t think they will.
        If I marry my car so we can both get health care, maybe we could swim with you dolphins.

    14. Mike in Denver

      Colorado is required to send specific amounts of water down the Colorado, Arkansas, Animas, Platt etc. based on water flows measured in 1910. The problem is rainfall in recent decades has been much lower, so rather than base it on a percentage they sometimes even have to release water from reservoirs.

      Denver is semiarid at about 17 inches per year (15 or less is considered desert) so any drought year and we really feel it.

      • Rebecca

        Mike in Denver
        Those numbers were determined by treaty with Mexico, it is a shared system of water.

    15. Archivist

      Here is a handy site to calculate how much rainwater you could possibly collect in a year. You trace out your rooftop on a map.

      ht tp://www.save-the-rain.com/SR3/

      I’ve used it before, but it was taking a little long to compute tonight, so I looked up the rain figures for the past year in my location and multiplied the total by the area of my house. If it were possible to collect every single drop of rain, I could collect over 80,000 gallons a year. I do have the largest roof in the area.

      That’s more water than I would use, so I won’t collect rainwater from the front part of the house that’s visible from the road. It rains pretty often here, so I don’t have to water the garden that much. Most months average 4″, but January, March, and August only get a little over 2″.

      So between rain, the well, and the swamp out back, I have water pretty much covered.

      If you go to the Weather Service site and look for something called “Preliminary Monthly Climate Data (CF6),” you can find monthly rainfall (among other things) for your location. Then you can calculate your own collection possibilities. Don’t forget that the rain amount is in inches, and your roof area is in square feet, so convert the rain amount to feet. This gives you cubic feet, and there’s 7.48 gallons in a cubic foot of water.

      • NutNattion

        Thanks. Yep, appears many if not most places have no supply reason to pay for water. At least water for showers, washing clothes, and such could all comes from the air. My guess.

        • Rebecca

          Nut Nation
          Average US rainfall is over 30 inches a year, and no one needs civic water except large corporations that use massive amounts of water. Those businesses once located exclusively on rivers. My house in Texas, built in 1912, had a huge rainwater cistern that was at some point covered with a large deck. I found it when I was repairing the decking.
          I get 16-20 inches of rain, much better than Albuquerque’s 7-12 inches. I can work the low rainfall, but am breeding landrace seeds that will grow here without supplemental water. I do recycle water as much as I can.
          Sorry for the rant. Yes, most Americans get enough rainfall to live off grid. Especially Flint, which receives a lot of rainwater… they could collect off a shed.

    16. FortyNiner

      Colorado was a nice place.
      Then came the Californians.

      Californians are like a plague of locust that DESTROYS any place they gather in large numbers.

      They left California because of high taxes, communist California government.
      But the Californians CALIFORNICATE everyplace they go.
      They try to make where ever they are, Just like the California they LEFT.
      Left is key term here folks. Californians are mostly Leftist.
      Californians are NUTS. Anti anything normal to most people.
      Californians are very vocal, love lawyers and suing everyone. Californians are loud mouth minority with a extreme high level of involvement in politics, results in DESTROYING every place they go.

      California Communist Evil and stupidity wins because average good people just live their own lives and stay out of things. Result: Loud mouth minority Californians get their way with things. They turn everywhere they go into the communist mess they left.

      I have witnessed this destruction in several places I’ve lived. I keep trying to move away from them. Then the Californians show up to where I am and try to ruin that too. I keep moving. They keep following and destroying. Just like a plague of locust.

      • DJ5280

        Yep. All true. We left Colorado two years ago for their ridiculous water laws, among others including watching the abuse of eminent domain laws taking people’s property away. And I agree about the influx of others who want to ruin the way of life of many old-timers ranching and farming in Colorado. It is truly an Agenda 21 state now. Sad.

    17. Enemy of the State

      This is an easy one to get around
      House has roof
      House has down spouts

      It doesn’t take a rocket scientist
      But yet some just can’t figure it out

      Sad
      I don’t use city water to water anything

    18. Asshat

      Collecting rain water is smart. It’s just about potable I’d filter it anyhow if gonna drink it. For bathing it’s fine dirty water can be used t flush toilets. Where is it illegal to collect water. They don’t bother us around here about collecting water. In the summer they say to dump out any standing water because of mosquitos. Maybe they will use the Zeka virus to stop people from collecting water using the standing water breeding mosquitos as the excuse.

      • Ketchupondemand

        we’ve been drinking rain water for almost 2 years now. Filters, regular bleach treatment, no problem.

      • Marie

        Oh yeah, you hear on the radio in summer to dump all your “standing water”….which leaves you with Nothing!! What if i want to water the garden? Water for the duks drinking? Now i have NO water cuz i foolishly dumped it all out. People around me dump their water in their “pretty” yards. Not me. I need it for the garden….and the duks!

    19. Sean

      The purpose of this law is only to take it away later.

      It establishes that the government owns the water, and is allowing us to use it with government permission.

      • NutNattion

        Correct. Isn’t there a 7 year stature of limitations on theft!

    20. Satori

      just more proof that you can’t fix “teh stoopid”

      In Sharp Reversal, California Suspends Water Restrictions

      h ttp://www.msn.com/en-us/weather/topstories/in-sharp-reversal-california-suspends-water-restrictions/ar-BBtdHdk?ocid=ACERDHP15

      get a little rain
      drought over
      back to business as usual

      WTF???

      we just never learn

      “crank up the sprinklers Marge,WIDE open !!!”

    21. 2isone

      It’s pouring down here right now. Flash flood warning. Tomatoes are going to love it.

    22. Sean

      Y’all living east of the Mississippi often don’t get it.
      Geography necessitates the need for prior appropriation rather than riparian water rights.

    23. Man with no name

      Not that I agree with any rainwater collection laws (I most certainly do not) but one would think if it truly was so big a concern, there would be much more responsible water use. Someone said here 110 gal for average household use, if that’s in fact true, seems pretty high to me. Swimming pools, pressure washing parking lots, car washes etc is pure vanity, how many gallons of water get wasted daily for those things? Someone mentioned the farmers and ranchers, well, you can’t discount them, we all need them but I agree whole heartedly there are things they can do to get more use from the water they use. Same goes for everyone else, how many gallons are wasted with that 20 minute hot shower, or using that washing machine that only has a few socks and skivies cause god forbid you wash your whites with anything else. Responsible? How about that same shower, washing machine and all sink drains be plumbed together to a grey water storage tank instead of sewage with the toilet. Seems to me things like this make a whole lot more sense than trying to “control” collection of rainwater.

      • Rebecca

        Man with no name
        I experiment off and on to see how much water I really need. More like 15 gallons per day over a longer term. I am converting to landrace foods, edible natives, perennials. I double use the water where I can, shifting to composting toilet. I live in the dry west, nothing to worry about in the eastern half of the country. Now that I know what I can do… 25 gallons a day looks generous. The entire conversation is very site specific.

    24. Asshat

      The water police are at it again

    25. Beaumont

      Nestle capped-off a local spring, where people used to collect water in jugs. Creeks were reportedly cemented-over, to expand our town. It was decided that independent wells would be inadequate, or people with access to groundwater were living in protected wetlands. So, water would come from hundreds of miles away, where the farms would die for lack of water. That is dumped into our reservoirs, mainly consisting of unlined pits.

      When the homesteader is done with his water, it goes directly back into the local, hydrological cycle.

      The state would be more resilient, if it was pragmatic, to-the-point, rather than rigging Rube Goldberg devices.

      You are not formally supposed to collect rocks or dead wood or disturb the weeds, where a monumental pipe has cut through a mountain and lies on a bed of gravel.

      Additionally, it is ‘immoral’ to fish (mainly introduced) species from the aqueduct, until you pay the duty…

      The logic goes on, ad infinitum.

      There should be some ethical corollary to self ownership, in which you are allowed to eat and drink.

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