Soon, it will no longer be illegal to collect and re-use rain water in Colorado.
After dying on the House floor last year, the rain barrel bill is now on its way to being signed into law.
"Today is really exciting because it shows that our water laws and systems can be respected and still be adapted and flexible to add new tools and respond to a changing environment," said Theresa Conley, a water advocate with Conservation Colorado, a big supporter of the bill.
HB16-1105 was passed Friday morning by a majority of legislators on the Senate floor. The bill must be signed by Governor Hickenlooper before it takes effect on August 10.
Under the law, Colorado residents will be allowed to own up to two, 55-gallon rain barrels.
State Senator Jerry Sonnenberg, one of four lawmakers who opposed the bill on Friday, said the "saving grace" of this bill is a reporting requirement after 3 years, that would ensure that experts are studying the impact of rain barrel water usage.
Colorado's rain-barrel ban is little known and widely flouted. But the barrels violate Colorado water law, which says that people can use but not keep water that runs on or through their property.
"That's hard for people to understand when the state owns all the water and is charged in the constitution to distribute that water," Sen. Sonnenberg said.