Water Resources Review Committee. In 2009, the general assembly authorized up to 10 precipitation harvesting pilot projects for new real estate developments of residential housing or mixed uses. Only one project has been approved. To encourage more projects, the bill:
- Includes the redevelopment of residential housing or mixed uses and new or redeveloped multi-building nonresidential property as potential pilot projects;
- Directs the Colorado water conservation board to update its approval criteria and guidelines, including regionally applicable factors that sponsors can use for substitute water supply and augmentation plans that specify the amount of evapotranspiration of preexisting natural vegetative cover, to which the state engineer and water judges must give presumptive effect, subject to rebuttal;
- Reduces the amount of water needed for a project's temporary substitute water supply plan and permanent augmentation plan by the amount of historic natural depletion to the waters of the state, if any, caused by the preexisting natural vegetative cover and evaporation on the surface of the area that will be, or that has been, made impermeable as part of the pilot project; and
- Specifies that a project's temporary retention of storm water for the purpose of improving water quality is not subject to an order of the state or division engineers if the retention complies with the board's criteria and guidelines and the applicable requirements of the state's water quality laws.