Energy and Environment Monitor
WVDEP Issues Reminder Concerning New Requirements For Large Water Withdrawals From Surface and Groundwater Sources
July 16, 2015
The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has issued a reminder to the public about new requirements related to the 2014 amendments to the state Water Resources Protection and Management Act. The amendments include a lower reporting threshold as well as a requirement to collect monthly data.
The new reporting threshold for water withdrawn from surface or groundwater sources within a 30-day period is now 300,000 gallons. This new threshold became effective on January 1, 2015. The data collected is required to be reported to WVDEP starting on January 1, 2016. The new threshold makes West Virginia’s reporting requirements consistent with most surrounding states.
Additionally, anyone withdrawing water at or above the new 300,000 gallon threshold is now required to collect monthly water use data to be included in an annual survey that will be submitted to WVDEP’s Water Use Section of the Division of Water and Waste Management.
Other important notes included in WVDEP’s reminder:
- The Large Quantity User (LQU) classification now includes both water users who withdraw 300,000 or more gallons within a 30-day period and entities who bottle water for resale (regardless of the quantity withdrawn).
- Water designated for farm use (including water livestock or poultry from a farm) is excluded from the LQU classification. However, farms are still encouraged to voluntarily report water withdrawals to improve the accuracy of the annual surveys.
- Entities that purchase water from water providers are also excluded from the LQU classification.
- The responsibility to report at the new 300,000 gallon threshold is with the withdrawing entity. WVDEP cannot feasibly identify and contact every potential LQU.
- Potential LQUs must register water usage under state law.
- 2015 monthly data must be reported between January 1 and March 31, 2016.
- Metering withdrawals is the preferred method for determining monthly withdrawals, although any accepted scientific method to obtain a reasonable estimate or indirect calculation of actual use is allowed.
This article was authored by Douglas J. Crouse, Jackson Kelly PLLC.