Democrats Fight to Strip Coloradans of Rainwater Rights

 There is a fight over water in Colorado, as Democrats are attempting to strip Coloradans of their rights to hold and store something that literally falls from the sky onto their property.

Legalizing household rain barrels in Colorado is pitting conservation-minded Democrats against Republicans determined to defend water rights. The two-session standoff, however, has a handful of legal experts wondering why there’s a fight.

None of them could point to a statute that specifically says rain barrels are illegal. Arguments on both sides depend on a broad legal interpretation that says you can’t store a drop without a water right, even if you put it back in the ground to water a garden a few feet away.

Republicans want to make sure rain barrels don’t put a crack in state water law and ensure that those with the oldest and most expensive water rights get their fair share before those with no rights get a drop.

Rep. Jessie Danielson, a Democrat from Arvada, said the House bill she’s sponsoring is about clarifying the law, which might encourage more people to use rain barrels. The measure has passed the state House and is headed to the Senate.

“Even if we can conserve the smallest amount of water, it is less treated drinking water being poured out onto our lawns,” Danielson said.

Let’s be clear — this fight is not about water conservation. If it was, the Democrats would recognize that personal storage of rain is undoubtedly the most efficient, most environmentally-conscious way to supply a property with water. This fight is about government control. They want Big Brother to decide who gets water, and when.

Source: Denver Post


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