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Really, Rain Barrels Illegal?

My eco- and money-conscious friends and I have had many discussions about whether you can legally use rain barrels to collect precipitation for watering landscapes in Colorado. Friends that have transplanted from moist regions of the country find it hard to believe that this simple act is against the law. Some have heard that legislation was recently passed to allow rain collection. So, what’s the deal? Are rain barrels illegal?

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My eco- and money-conscious friends and I have had many discussions about whether you can legally use rain barrels to collect precipitation for watering landscapes in Colorado. Friends that have transplanted from moist regions of the country find it hard to believe that this simple act is against the law. Some have heard that legislation was recently passed to allo…

!– BEGIN THEIA POST SLIDER —

My eco- and money-conscious friends and I have had many discussions about whether you can legally use rain barrels to collect precipitation for watering landscapes in Colorado. Friends that have transplanted from moist regions of the country find it hard to believe that this simple act is against the law. Some have heard that legislation was recently passed to allow rain collection. So, what’s the deal? Are rain barrels illegal?

Colorado is one of only two states (Hawaii is the other) in which all water flows out of the state. Water has always been very important for our state development but it has also been crucial for states downstream. All water that is in – and eventually flows out of – Colorado is already owned by someone else. Welcome to the overwhelmingly complicated web of water rights in our state.

Every drop of rain that falls from the heavens is already accounted for as soon as it hits my barren front yard. Storm water is owned a few times over by junior and senior water rights holders. Going back to 4th grade science, rain congregates and flows into rivers and creeks via the stormwater infrastructure. It all ends up in our major rivers like the Arkansas, which farmers and cities all the way to the Mississippi depend on. Precipitation can also percolate into the groundwater system that supplies wells that many property owners use for drinking water and irrigation. “Rainwater harvesting,” as it’s called, diverts this water out of the normal system by capturing it in barrels for later use. Not too big of a deal if a few people do it, but if everyone collected rain, the rivers could be altered. Therefore, according to the Colorado Division of Water Resources, rain collection is illegal.

Colorado State University Exte…

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  1. yoshi saidit

    April 13, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    If you think about, even the judge that left his bottle out on his back deck from his weekend drunk, has collected rain from Sundays shower. that would be a “criminal” act. Truth is, water is LIFE, you have a god given right to live, our forefathers wrote that we have a right to live. they CANNOT turn a right into a privilege. they CANNOT make you pay or punish you for exorcising your right to live. Not to mention, that water will eventually make it’s way to their corrupt system. so they have no leg to stand on. They make up these unconstitutional laws to steal your freedom. make you THINK you have to buy their chemical infested water, when it falls free (chem free) from the heavens. Don’t buy into their corrupt system. learn your rights, exorcise those rights.

    • whyeliah

      June 3, 2015 at 12:17 pm

      Regardless of water rights politics, it is important to note that water DOES NOT fall chemical free from the sky. This is one of the reasons that even farm raised fish contain mercury. Coal fueled power plants (among other things) add chemicals to our atmosphere which are picked up in the rain. States have upped environmental regulations over the past years, but rain is still not a pure, unadulterated source of water.

  2. Kimberly Corell

    June 6, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    I think this law is ridiculous. If I am using the collected rain water to water my plants during a dry spell, then I am not using tap water (that has to be potable and treated) to do so. The real issue here, is that they can’t charge me ridiculous rates for the water. I will use the same amount of water as before, they just can’t make any money on it.

    • Bob Ortiz

      June 28, 2015 at 8:10 pm

      THE MONEY IS EXACTLY THE REASON. The powers that be want their cut and they make the rules.

  3. Tonia Jarrett Rogers

    July 15, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    Well Then, If My Neighbors Tree Fell Over & Damaged My House, Then My Neighbor Would Be Responsible To Claim It On His Insurance & Fix My House…Same Would Go If A Flood Took Out My House…So Why Would I EVER Need To Buy Flood Insurance In One Of Those States Where The Water Is Already Owned By Someone Other Than Me…See How Stupid That Sounds, Just Like The Stupid Law… Grrr :/

    • ShadyJ

      August 16, 2015 at 4:55 pm

      You should really see a doctor. Your pinkies seem to twitch and hit the shift key at the beginning of every word. Grrr.

      • Samuel Ochieng

        September 6, 2015 at 10:22 pm

        hahahaha!!! That was funny. Grr

  4. Karen

    May 15, 2016 at 11:16 am

    So in Colorado, just buy a rain barrel and turn it into a giant bong. No big deal if you store your bong outside under the eves, right?

  5. Quris...

    September 5, 2016 at 9:35 am

    This law is asinine, but it looks like now it has been changed. In Minnesota, our water rates have greatly increased this past year and I now have water barrel for our garden during our dry spells. No such law in MN…

    BTW: Colorado and Hawaii are not the only states where all water runs out of their respective states. Minnesota is at the apex of three watersheds, where all our water, rain, snow, etc. flows into either the Hudson Bay, the Atlantic, or the Gulf. Anything we do to our water effects half the continent. Which is the reason why our debates have been centered around the storage of radioactive material. Not a good idea to store such toxins in a state where our watersheds cover such a large area…

  6. scott gear

    February 6, 2017 at 9:24 pm

    “as water becomes scarcer” – Bingo. Funny thing is if everyone owned a rain barrel, or 4, or more, even if every single one of them leaked out very slowly (which is the ideal way to use a rain barrel, so it’s empty for the next rain), the reduced runoff during each rain would likely not even correct the increased runoff that the impervious roof caused, compared to before the house was there at all. Now combine that with the increased groundwater infiltration (from slow release), and the reduced outdoor water use for irrigation (not as much needed if rain barrel water is directed properly) — and any local water shortage problem could potentially be reversed. Great for us, but not so great for those who are buying up water rights and banking (also funny: banks are betting too) on the shortage, as they will make their money back when selling it back to us at increasing rates. You bet they don’t want us to band together and solve this on our own. That would cut into their bottom line. What would they tell shareholders?

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Ask Dr. Scott December

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Q: Dr. Scott, how can I get through Christmas this year without gaining weight?A: Plan your holiday eating list and check it twice! If you fail to plan, you plan to fail — this adage applies to many walks of life, but especially to maintaining the proper diet during the Christmas holidays. In addition to dedicating yourself to eatin…

!– BEGIN THEIA POST SLIDER —

Q: Dr. Scott, how can I get through Christmas this year without gaining weight?A: Plan your holiday eating list and check it twice! If you fail to plan, you plan to fail — this adage applies to many walks of life, but especially to maintaining the proper diet during the Christmas holidays. In addition to dedicating yourself to eating properly this Christmas, successful weight loss boils down to good planning; more than any other time of the year, planning is paramount during the holiday season.

Before heading to that Christmas party you should plan exactly what you are going to do and say when you are offered food (and drink) that you should not eat. Grandma and Auntie and the kids may say, “Oh, come on, it’s the holidays, just this one time…” But as you know by now, it only takes that one time. You need to plan what you will eat instead, and in what quantity. The more concrete the plan is to you, the more likely you are to stick to it.

Whenever possible, without becoming a Scrooge, plan holiday activities that are not centered on consuming food. There are many old traditions that work well, such as caroling or ice-skating, and certainly many more activities around Pueblo that could become your new traditions.

Be like Santa’s reindeer and graze. Instead of three big meals per day, you should eat smaller portions of something healthy about every two hours, ideally consuming six mini-meals per day. This gives your body a better ability to digest and will leave you feeling satisfied, not hungry, throughout the entire day.

Especially during the holidays, it is important to focus on the desired outcome of your diet when confronted with triple-fudge pie or negative emotions such as “I’m meant to be fat and unhealthy.” Picture yourself thin. Imagine yourself wit…

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Self-Reliance: The four exercises of Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s idealism remains an intrinsically baffling strain of thought to for readers interpret even today.  Yet Emerson’s intellectual stock has never been valued higher. Emersonian thought has become the model of the independent American mind heroically transcending personal and social limitations to liberate its genius. The concept of self-reliance, perhaps Emerson’s most potent and misunderstood concept, constructed in the essay Self-Reliance, is not the philosophy of rugged individualism, nor is it the ideological doctrine of strict libertarianism.  Self-reliance is always a method or an instrument, presenting itself in different masks depending on the era and circumstance.  It is a cookbook for making lucid universal objective truth through the act of finding the totality of a universe in oneself, seeing oneself as a creator.

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Ralph Waldo Emerson’s idealism remains an intrinsically baffling strain of thought to for readers interpret even today.  Yet Emerson’s intellectual stock has never been valued higher. Emersonian thought has become the model of the independent American mind heroically transcending personal and social limitations to liberate its genius. The concept of self-reliance, perhaps Emerson’s most potent and misunderstood concept, constructed in the…

!– BEGIN THEIA POST SLIDER —

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s idealism remains an intrinsically baffling strain of thought to for readers interpret even today.  Yet Emerson’s intellectual stock has never been valued higher. Emersonian thought has become the model of the independent American mind heroically transcending personal and social limitations to liberate its genius.
The concept of self-reliance, perhaps Emerson’s most potent and misunderstood concept, constructed in the essay Self-Reliance, is not the philosophy of rugged individualism, nor is it the ideological doctrine of strict libertarianism.  Self-reliance is always a method or an instrument, presenting itself in different masks depending on the era and circumstance.  It is a cookbook for making lucid universal objective truth through the act of finding the totality of a universe in oneself, seeing oneself as a creator.

Self-reliant individuals accept that personality grows from the root of society and relation to others; however, in the same actualization resolves personality must be extinguished to grasp universality and their full human potential.  The essential aspect of the person is found in solitude, devoid of personality.  In his essay, Self-Reliance, Emerson outlines four exercises for achieving self-reliance.  

First, an individual may reach ultimate reality through nonconformity.  Nonconformity is the exercise of devotion to individuality.  The nonconformist exercise taps into an individual’s passionate capacity, sublimating the rich spectrum of emotions into self-compassion and self-reliance, bringing her and him closer to a fundamental inner-centeredness.  Nonconformity appeals to an emotional temperament.

Nonconformity and Compassion

Ralph Waldo Emerson makes it explicit from the start of Self-Reliance that “Whoso be a man, must be a nonconformist.  He who would gather immortal palms must not be hindered by the name of goodness, but must explore if it be goodness.”  In other words, even the concept of goodness cannot be taken for granted and should be subject to scrutiny.  And if what the normative culture calls ‘good’ shows itself as not corresponding with the individual’s internal impression of good, measured emotionally in terms of whether it promotes self-compassion, then the status quo should be rejected.  This principle is played out in Self-Reliance when Emerson recounts, “I remember an answer which when quite young I was prompted to make to a valued advisor who was wont with opportune me with the dear old doctrines of the Church.  On my saying, ‘What have I to do with the sacredness of traditions, if I live wholly from within?’ my friend suggested – ‘But these impulses may be from below, not from above.’  I replied, ‘They do not seem to me to be such; but if I am the Devil’s child, I will live then from the Devil.’” This is to say the motto of Emersonian nonconformity reads ‘When in America, Kill the King.  Follow what is Deep’.  And in concrete language Emerson concludes, “No law can be sacred to me but that of my nature… The only right is what is after my constitution; the only wrong what is against it.”  The exercise of nonconformity maximizes self-reliance by cultivating a sense of self-love in the individual that transcends normative culture.

Second, an individual becomes universal through the exercise of selfless action and cutting ties with materialistic habits.  The institutions of society, as well as those of family and friendship become problematic for the will to self-reliance in that these entanglements create the relative mirrors by which individuals see themselves and construct identity that obscures what is essentially individual, namely, our duty carried out in solitude.  The exercise of ‘letting go’ appeals to a pragmatic temperament.

Society and Selfless Action

Society is self-serving; and Emerson asserts “Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood [and womanhood] of every one of its members.” Society urges individuals to act in preservation of self to conserve traditions, and these structures inhibit an individual’s ability to be self-reliant.  To act selflessly is not to act without regard to one’s well being; selfless action is to act and behave toward others and the environment as you would if there was no egotistic-self relative to them and it, to normal, to consistent.  Even the institution of family must be repainted before the individual can become self-reliant in society.  Emerson instructs, for this exercise, let go of all ties to society and tell friends and family “I cannot break myself any longer for you.  If you can love me for what I am, we shall be the happier.  If you cannot, I will seek to deserve that you should.  I will not hide my tastes or aversions… If you are noble, I will love you; if you are not, I will not hurt you or myself… I do this not selfishly but humbly and truly… Be it known unto you that henceforward I obey no laws less than the eternal law.  I will have no covenants but proximities.”  The individual has let go of social entanglement, narrowed awareness to immediate relations and duties, interacts with other individuals in various contexts, but now exercises self-reliance through selfles…

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News

What is Next for Amendment 64?

Weed is legal, but what exactly does that mean for you and me as we move forward?

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More Coloradoans used their vote in November’s election to legalize marijuana than were cast to reelect the President of the United States.  Amendment 64 received 1,291,771 votes in favor and President Obama received 1,238,490 votes from Colorado citizens – according to Politico.com.  

In the language of Amendment 64:

In the interest of the efficient use of law enforcement resources, enhancing revenues for publ…

!– BEGIN THEIA POST SLIDER —

More Coloradoans used their vote in November’s election to legalize marijuana than were cast to reelect the President of the United States.  Amendment 64 received 1,291,771 votes in favor and President Obama received 1,238,490 votes from Colorado citizens – according to Politico.com.
 

In the language of Amendment 64:

In the interest of the efficient use of law enforcement resources, enhancing revenues for public purposes, and individual freedom, the people of the state of Colorado find and declare that the use of marijuana should be legal for persons twenty-one years of age or older and taxed in a manner similar to alcohol.

What is unique about this bill is the extent to which it transcends political party lines, and brings together constituencies for practical purposes, which are many times on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to political positions.  Fiscal progressives like the idea of legalizing marijuana if it will raise revenue in the state to put toward public schools and community projects. Libertarians support legalization of marijuana on the grounds that it promotes individual liberty.  However, what likely pushed support beyond the tipping point of passage is that legalizing marijuana is compatible with fiscal conservatism by means of millions of projected dollars in savings for the criminal justice system by allowing resources to be allocated away from pursuing and punishing marijuana users and toward more productive endeavors, like minimizing violent crimes.

This analysis is supported by a budgetary study done by the Colorado Center on Law & Policy that concluded Amendment 64 “could generate as much as a total of $60 million in savings and revenue” as well as create several hundred new jobs, mostly in the construction sector.  Broken down new revenue and savings will come from the following areas:

    • $12 million dollars of annual savings in criminal justice costs
    • $24 million in excise tax revenue
    • $8.7 million in state sales tax revenue
    • $14.5 million in local tax revenue

So, weed is legal, but what exactly does that mean for you and me as we move forward?

Under the new law the following activities will be lawful under the Colorado Constitution, after the bill takes full effect, for individuals twenty-one years or older: 

  • a. Possessing, using, and displaying, purchasing, or transporting marijuana accessories or one ounce or less of marijuana.
  • b. Possessing, growing, processing, or transporting no more than six marijuana plants, with three or fewer being mature, flowering plants, and possession of the marijuana produced by the plants on the premises where the plants were grown, provided that the growing takes place in an enclosed, locked space, is not conducted openly or publically, and is not made available for sale.
  • c. Transfers of one ounce or less of marijuana without remuneration [without payment] to a person who is twenty-one years of age or older. 
  • d. Consumption of marijuana, provided that nothing in this section shall permit consumption that is conducted openly or publically in a manner that endangers others.
  • e. Assisting another person who is twenty-one years of age or older in any of the acts described in paragraphs a-d of this subsection.

And in regard to what is next for local law enforcement in light of the passage of Amendment 64, Pueblo Chief of Police Luis Velez tells PULP that for the moment there will be no change in the policy of handling marijuana infractions in Pueblo and that the “Chiefs [of police in Colorado] Association is still awaiting direction from the Attorney General to be handed down.”  And although the final policies are not due to be in place until well into next year, Chief Velez further explained that some policies might begin to be enacted as early as this December or January of 2013.

One of the first regulations likely to be introduced, according to Chief Velez, will be one that sets a standard for measuring the legal limit of THC that can be in a driver’s system and policies for police officers who will have to handle a breadth of marijuana…

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Local and independent journalism is under threat in the West and you can change that.  With corporate raiders slashing newsrooms across the West, the PULP is one of the "Last Locals" in Colorado to produce original, compelling journalism missing in today's profit hungry world. But that costs money, time and hard work. We don't believe in spamming you with ads that's why we need your help.

For every contribution, we put 100% back into producing original and amazing journalism. That's a promise only a local and independent newsroom can promise. Take heart because you will fuel stories just like this one and the future of journalism.
Continue Reading

One more thing...

Local and independent journalism is under threat in the West and you can change that.  With corporate raiders slashing newsrooms across the West, the PULP is one of the "Last Locals" in Colorado to produce original, compelling journalism missing in today's profit hungry world. But that costs money, time and hard work. We don't believe in spamming you with ads and that's why we need your help.

For every contribution, we put 100% back into producing original and amazing journalism. That's a promise only a local and independent newsroom can promise. Take heart because you will fuel stories just like this one and the future of journalism.

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