Why legalizing rain barrels is a big deal in Colorado?
The democrats and the republicans have been in a tag of war over the legalization of rain barrel. According to several legal experts, this misunderstanding has no base since the two parties cannot prove the illegality of rain in any law.
The arguments provided by these two sides depended on a broad legal interpretation which said that one cannot store a drop without a water right, even if one put the same back to the ground through watering a garden which is just some few feet away.
The republicans were mainly concerned with ensuring that rain barrels do not break the water statute and help those with most expensive and old water rights maintain them.
A democrat from Arvada rep. Jessie Danielson sponsored a house bill which was aimed at clarifying the law and as a result encourage the use of rain barrels by most people in Colorado.
Why the all this fuss over rain barrel’s legalization?
The water law is very crucial and is embedded in the original state constitution. It is protected by special state court and is managed by a state agency. All ranchers, drinking water providers and farmers depend on getting what they have paid for. During the dry years, those people who have newer right to water could be left out.
One of Colorado’s top lawyers Bill Paddock said that it was a tough job to prove in court that the use of rain barrel was causing harm to a water right. To achieve this proof, one would be obliged get the total number of all rain barrels being fed into the downstream water rights. Registration of rain barrels is not a requirement thus one will be forced go door to door counting downspouts.
Next would be a measurement of how much water was stored in each barrel. This analysis would also have to show how much and if any of that water actually made it back to the rivers.
The director of Healthy Rivers Program Bart miller said that barrels are boosters to the water rights of others. They also help residents become better and more knowledgeable. Other states that used barrels as a conservation tool have seen the users realize that water is a limited resource that should be carefully managed. All this lead to low per capita use of water and low need of pulling the water out of rivers and agriculture.
Rain barrels were legalized and this showed that elected officials of Colorado were able to be responsive to the public and all its priorities.
There you have it, the reasons why legalizing rain barrels in Colorado is a big deal.
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