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Graywater and Storm Water 
DWR > Surface Water > Water Rights > Graywater and Storm Water

Graywater Use

Graywater is a portion of the water used in a residential, commercial, or industrial building that may be collected after the first use and put to a second beneficial use. Though recent changes to Colorado statues and regulations provide a framework for the use of graywater, graywater use remains subject to compliance with local regulation and Colorado’s water rights system. Jurisdictions at the city, city and county, or county level must create a graywater control program and adopt an ordinance or resolution to allow graywater use prior to graywater use in the jurisdiction. Contact your local government office to find out if your jurisdiction has a graywater program.

Graywater use is subject to compliance with Colorado’s water rights system, including well permit conditions and water supplier restrictions.  Please see DWR’s 2011 Administrative Position for Graywater Reuse or contact DWR to learn more about the interactions between graywater use and Colorado’s water rights system.

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Storm Water Management

Senate Bill 15-212 exempts many storm water detention and infiltration facilities from administration in Colorado’s prior appropriation system so long as the facilities meet specific statutory criteria, including that they do not divert the water for beneficial use, that ground water is not exposed, and that new facilities are properly designed and noticed.  For more information on the notice process, see the Colorado Stormwater Detention and Infiltration Facilities Notification Portal.  For any questions related to the use of the Notification Portal, please contact Urban Drainage and Flood Control District at (303) 455-6277.  For more information on the statutory criteria please see DWR’s Administrative Statement (2/11/2016).

Landscaping that is planted on roofs (green roofs) is allowable as long as the landscaping intercepts only precipitation that falls directly onto the landscaping. The landscaping may not intercept and consume concentrated flow and may not store water below the root zone.  Please see DWR's Administrative Statement below for additional details.