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s_agr_2016a_2016-03-24t13:37:00z3 Hearing Summary

Date: 03/24/2016


BILL SUMMARY for HB16-1005


Votes: View--> Action Taken:
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02:09 PM -- HB 16-1005

Senator Merrifield, prime-sponsor, discussed the provisions of House Bill 16-1005 concerning residential precipitation collection. The reengrossed bill allows the collection of precipitation from the roof of a home in up to two rain barrels with a combined storage capacity of 110 gallons or less if the following conditions are met: the building is a single-family residence or a multi-family residence with up to four units; the precipitation collected is used for outdoor purposes on the residential property where the precipitation is collected, including irrigation of lawns and gardens; and the precipitation must not be used for drinking water or indoor household purposes. The State Engineer in the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is required to provide information on its website on the permitted use of rain barrels for collecting precipitation from rooftops to the extent practicable within existing resources. On or before March 1, 2019 and on or before March 1, 2022, the State Engineer is required to report to the committees of the General Assembly with jurisdiction over agriculture on whether the use of rain barrels has caused any discernable injury to downstream water rights. The report may contain data from water providers, water users, or other stakeholders, data from a precipitation collection pilot project or other research, or any complaint or report of injury. The Department of Public Health and Environment (DPHE) is required to develop best practices for nonpotable usage of collected precipitation and vector control (disease prevention) to the extent practicable within existing resources. The DPHE will post the best practices on its website and the State Engineer will either post the best practices on its website or include a link to the best practices. The bill requires homeowners' associations to allow the use of rain barrels for collection of residential rooftop precipitation. A homeowners' association may impose reasonable aesthetic requirements on the placement or appearance of a rain barrel. The bill also includes a legislative declaration stating that it is not the intent of the General Assembly to impede or infringe upon the rights established in the Prior Appropriation Doctrine.

The following persons testified on the bill:

02:13 PM --
Chris Olson, Colorado State University (CSU), discussed an analysis prepared by CSU of the impact of rain barrels on surface runoff (Attachment C). He also responded to questions from the committee about the CSU assessment.

160324 AttachC.pdf160324 AttachC.pdf

02:27 PM --
Garin Vorthman, Colorado Farm Bureau, spoke in support of the bill.

02:28 PM --
Donna Brosemer, Greeley Water Department, spoke in support of the bill and explained why she opposed previous legislation concerning precipitation.

02:30 PM --
Karen Webster, representing herself, spoke in support of the bill and discussed the educational benefits of rain barrels. She also responded to questions from the committee about why she decided to purchase a rain barrel.

02:33 PM --
Theresa Connelly, Conservation Colorado, spoke in support of the bill.

02:37 PM --
Tom Cech, One World One Water, Metropolitan State University of Denver, spoke in support of the bill and distributed information about the bill (Attachment D).

160324 AttachD.pdf160324 AttachD.pdf

02:40 PM --
Tim Feehan, Deputy Director, Colorado Water Conservation Board, spoke in support of the bill.

02:41 PM --
Robert Bowen, representing himself, spoke in support of the bill.

02:44 PM --
Kevin Rein, Deputy State Engineer, Division of Water Resources, explained that he was available for questions from the committee. He responded to questions from the committee about the House amendments to the bill concerning the authority of the State Engineer to regulate rain barrels that impact other water users and current regulation of wells that are exempt from water administration.

02:58 PM

The chair closed testimony and Senator Scott Merrifield closed his remarks on the bill.

03:03 PM

The bill was laid over unamended, and the committee recessed.

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