Raindrops for the People!

“Raindrops” was a topic that I was truly drawing a blank on though thanks I suppose to my Irish roots I love the rain and the more rainy days the better. Perhaps this explains in part my draw to those rainy San Francisco winter days.

I was however rescued on this topic by the impending changes, perhaps this week, in Colorado law around the personal collection of raindrops that fall on your own property and specifically collecting the runoff from your own roof. Believe it or not such collection, i.e. a rain barrel collecting raindrops from your roof’s drain spout is illegal in Colorado, the only state in the Union where this is the case. The exact wording of the current law is as follows:

Although it is permissible to direct your residential property roof downspouts toward landscaped areas, unless you own a specific type of exempt well permit, you cannot collect rainwater in any other manner, such as storage in a cistern or tank, for later use.

Though I realize that many of us LGBTQ folks are urban and live in apartments and therefore this is a truly a moot issue it is a bit of a reassuringly small victory for “the people” that this archaic law is finally about to be changed. I suppose this is more a libertarian victory rather than a socialist one but I’ll take it. Though rainwater runoff could also be easily collected from the roofs of large apartment/condo buildings and go to watering communal gardening space in addition to homeowner’s personal tomato plants.

I have lived in several single-family homes and collecting run-off rainwater for my often-thirsty gardens always had appeal. I never got around to breaking the law on a cistern level but I do confess to collecting the occasional bucketful most often during a late summer downpour and them dumping it on my tomato plants. Once more the immortal words of the Jefferson Airplane come to mind: “We are all outlaws in the eyes of America”.

It is my understanding that HB16-1005 has passed the Senate and will be signed into law this week by the Governor freeing up raindrops for collection by the people. Now if we could get this same Governor, who is a super-delegate to the Democratic convention, to realize that he is not bound to cast his vote for Hilary Clinton. He could instead acknowledge and respect the wishes of the significant majority of caucus goers in Colorado and switch his vote to Bernie Sanders. Oh, what am I thinking? Why should access to a few raindrops make us get all uppity and think we actually live in a democracy. We are being told I guess to sit down and don’t rock the boat and just be happy with a few more raindrops.

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