Colorado governor signs geothermal, water conservation bills

May 18, 2010
On April 5, Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter signed House Bill 1204, which adds water conservation to the state plumbing code.

DENVER — On April 5, Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter signed House Bill 1204, which adds water conservation to the state plumbing code.

“House Bill 1204 is an important step in conserving Colorado’s water and ensuring that we are moving forward with sustainable water standards for the future,” said Gov. Ritter. “Conservation is a critical component in managing one of our state’s most precious resources — water. Our state’s livelihood depends upon a reliable water source, from recreation to agriculture to business to our families, and we must be prudent with our use of it.”

Conservation standards under H.B.1204, sponsored by Rep. John Soper and Sen. Lois Tochrop, include water efficiency fixtures and installation guidelines that meet or exceed national standards. The bill also encourages the use of locally produced materials.

“By adding ‘conservation’ to the plumbing code, the legislature will send a clear message that we need to ensure the future availability of clean water for all Coloradans,” Sen. Tochtrop said.

On April 30, the Governor also signed into law Senate Bill 174, which encourages geothermal energy projects by making it easier for government agencies to cooperate on studies and projects.
Sponsored by Sen. Gail Schwartz and Reps. Christine Scanlan and Tom Massey, the bill also streamlines the process for obtaining geothermal drilling permits, and includes provisions protecting the rights of landowners and those with rights to the water. It also establishes a process for resolving disputes.

“Senate Bill 174 will help Colorado to begin to realize the potential of geothermal energy," Gov. Ritter said. “Geothermal is a great clean renewable energy source, that can be a base load provider and help to bring the benefits of the New Energy Economy to rural Colorado.”

“Geothermal energy will diversify Colorado’s energy portfolio. This bill will improve cooperation between the federal, state, and local governments, strengthen Colorado’s energy sector, and create jobs for Coloradans,” Sen. Schwartz said. “I would like to thank Chaffee County for their efforts on this bill and the broader water community for the work on protecting existing geothermal water rights and those in the future.”

“Geothermal is an exciting clean energy movement with the potential to exceed even solar and wind in supplying the US’s electricity needs in the future. In fact, the state Capitol will be moving towards using it next year for the building’s energy needs,” said Rep. Scanlan. “I am pleased that we have made a commitment to strengthen this energy sector.”

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