Thousands of unsuspecting Coloradans have been breaking the law.  You could be one of them. 

Most of these bandits have been committing their dirty deeds for decades upon decades, without even knowing their actions are illegal.  These otherwise law abiding citizens are breaking the law on quiet cul-de-sacs, behind school yards, and yes, even in grandma's vegetable garden. Yes, they are using rain barrels to...yes, collect rain water. From the sky.  However, thanks to the Governor's signature, these folks have just dodged a bullet in Colorado. Recent legislation signed into law by Governor Hickenlooper has legalized the collection of rain water.  Rest assured, it was no small feat that brought us to this place. 

While our dear readers will quickly realize that I am writing tongue and cheek in my opening paragraph, there is more serious history that is worth understanding on the topic of collecting rain water in Colorado. According to KUNC Radio News, "The Colorado Constitution lays out the foundation for the state’s frontier-era water system, and sets forth the idea of prior appropriation. In short, water is delivered to farmers, cities, factories, and other water users, based on when they purchased their water rights. It’s the so-called 'first in time, first in right” doctrine. Opponents of the vessels say rain barrels upend and undermine this sacred, fundamental creed, on which decades of water case law have been built."

Colorado Governor, John Hickenlooper, said it ties in perfectly to the state’s long-term water plan, unveiled in 2015. "[Rain barrels] promote education, people pay attention to how water is used," he said. "They also promote stewardship."  

As a California native, where my home state is usually in some form of a drought,  I have spent most of my life aware of and practicing water conservation.  Even in a relatively water rich state like Colorado, it is important to recognize water as a limited resource, and the legalization of rain barrels could help become an important tool to help with water education. 

At Louisville Realty Associates, we understand Colorado and the many laws that come from our "Old West" heritage, such as the historic change in collecting rain water.  At LRA, we have the experience, energy and depth of knowledge to help you not just survive your transaction, but we make sure you are fully informed and educated as you make various decisions. You can reach me anytime at

Do you have opinions and thoughts about this topic? Are you a proud ex-bandit or maybe you were unaware? Use the comment box to share your thoughts below.