Text Size

Site Search

Rain barrels and water conservation tools


Rainwater harvesting through rain barrels is now legal in Colorado. This comes after several years of debate and opposition from those concerned about possible impacts on downstream water users. Now, conservationists are eyeing them and other water capture tools as a way to stretch the state's overburdened supply.



Listen to the Story


Pair Sound with Sight 

Tom Stevens works in the plumbing department of McGuckins Hardware in Boulder. "We've got a lot of people
looking at them, but not a lot of sales yet." Sales of rain barrels are expected to pick up this month with the
legalization of rain water capture for residential irrigation.
There are eight steps in the gray water system at CU Boulder's Williams Village North dorm. Water comes to this
treatment room from shower and sinks throughout the dorm and is treated with chlorine and a blue dye is added
before returning to the system to be flushed down toilets.
Jonathan Akins, the campus civil engineer for CU Boulder. About 30 percent of the water used in the building
goes through this system—water that is reused to flush the more than 500 toilets in the dorms. That's about a
half-million gallons per year.
Peter Mayer, a water conservation engineer who has created water conservation plans for several communities in
the Roaring Fork Valley. "Ultimately a lot of small actions can make a difference. We've shown that with water
conservation, a lot of people changing toilets and clothes washers across the country has made a big difference, so
there's no reason to think that a lot of people using gray water or rain barrels couldn't also make a difference."

Take the Next Step: Read & Get Involved

The Colorado Foundation for Water Education wants to help you speak fluently and get involved with Colorado water conservation. Check out the following: 



Connecting the Drops Partners

Connecting the Drops is a radio collaboration between Water Education Colorado and Colorado Community Radio Stations KGNU, KDNK and KRCC.


 Support for 2017 programming comes from CoBank

1750 Humboldt Street, Suite 200
Denver, CO 80218