CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia regulators want lawmakers to give them more tools to help understand how the state's water is used and to protect the state's abundant supply.
The state Department of Environmental Protection says it needs changes in state law to improve data collection and eliminate water use reporting loopholes. The DEP also wants adequate funding for stream gages and new money for digital mapping that would help with flood control and other preventative measures.
DEP officials included the recommendations in its first-ever statewide Water Resources Management Plan. The plan was submitted to lawmakers late last month.
Brian Carr, program manager for water use in the DEP's Division of Water and Waste Management, briefed lawmakers on the plan during legislative interim meetings this week.
The plan has been nearly a decade in the making, and is part of the follow-up efforts from state laws in 2004 and 2008 intended to help West Virginia protect the quantity of water in its rivers, streams and lakes.
Among the new recommendations from the DEP: