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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, March 15, 2016 3:34 pm

Colorado rain barrel battle unleashes torrent of debate

Northeast Indiana residents who continually battle flooding, standing water and other effects of abundant rainfall will have a tough time relating to Colorado residents, where a legislative battle is under way over that state’s ban on rain barrels.

The downside to Colorado’s mostly sunny skies, of course, is a scarcity of rainwater. The state is one of four to restrict what is called “rainwater harvesting.”

The bill under consideration would allow home gardeners to store 110 gallons of runoff from their roofs in no more than two rain barrels.

Supporters say the measure encourages conservation, but opponents claim rainfall must be allowed to return to the ecosystem to replenish aquifers and reservoirs.

The bill faces a tough fight in the Colorado Senate, however.

An appropriation doctrine ensures those holding water rights must get their share of water.

In Indiana, where too much water is often the problem, it’s a battle we’re unlikely to face.