Bill to allow rain water barrels advances at Capitol

Backyard rain barrels are illegal in Colorado - but they're widely used, and state lawmakers are considering changing the law to allow them.

A bill that won preliminary approval in the state House Friday would allow homeowners to use up to two 55-gallon rain barrels.

Democrats who support the bill say it's a commonsense conservation measure.

But some Republicans say the measure appears innocuous but violates longstanding water policies. Coloradans technically don't own water that runs on or through their property. They can use the water, but they can't keep it.

The measure faces one more formal vote before heading to the Senate.

Colorado is the only state that doesn't allow rain barrel use except by people with their own wells.