People who use barrels to catch rain from their roofs breaking law, says State of Colorado

Nicholas Riccardi of the The LA Times has a story about "rainwater harvesters" in Colorado who are not allowed to collect rainwater that falls in their own yard, because the water rights belong to farmers, ranchers, developers and water agencies.
Every time it rains here, Kris Holstrom knowingly breaks the law.

Holstrom's violation is the fancifully painted 55-gallon buckets underneath the gutters of her farmhouse on a mesa 15 miles from the resort town of Telluride. The barrels catch rain and snowmelt, which Holstrom uses to irrigate the small vegetable garden she and her husband maintain.

But according to the state of Colorado, the rain that falls on Holstrom's property is not hers to keep. It should be allowed to fall to the ground and flow unimpeded into surrounding creeks and streams, the law states, to become the property of farmers, ranchers, developers and water agencies that have bought the rights to those waterways.

...

"If you try to collect rainwater, well, that water really belongs to someone else," said Doug Kemper, executive director of the Colorado Water Congress. "We get into a very detailed accounting on every little drop."

People who use barrels to catch rain from their roofs breaking law, says State of Colorado