Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Rainwater catchment

Colorado just finally overturned their ban on rainwater catchment. Apparently it was illegal because most of the land in CO has water rights. In the West, a lot of people own rights to water on land -- they might not own the land, but they own the water. It can be very contentious. I had no idea water rights was why rain water catchment was illegal in CO but it makes sense. People can get very worked up about their water, especially when it is in short supply.

Some people figured out that 97% of the runoff roof water that could be collected was evaporating or going to feed plants instead of going into the water table for the water rights people to suck up.

Utah and Washington still have this rule against water harvesting. It's kind of like being one of the last ski areas to ban snowboarding. Get with it people!

But in my lovely adopted state, not only is rainwater harvesting legal, but it is mandatory for new construction in the City Different -- to you all not from New Mexico, that would be the city of Santa Fe. The new southside library there has pretty awesome rainwater containers -- they look like big galvanized metal silos and I WANT ONE. I love rainwater harvesting. You'd be amazed at how much you can collect off a roof during a short storm. Our storms tend to result in about .05 inch of precipitation, but we often can fill up the barrels with that meager amount

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