"Having information about this broader universe of water withdrawals would aid the state in water resource management planning and better equip decision makers should drought-driven withdrawal or conservation restrictions become necessary," the DEP said in its report. The DEP noted the Legislative Auditor made a similar recommendation in 2011.
The DEP said the variances have resulted in 20 percent errors in total statewide water use. "This wide discrepancy complicates database calculations, and results in less-than-desirable survey accuracy, which hampers the DEP's efforts to study, develop and protect the state's water resources," the agency said.
Statewide LIDAR coverage would enable scientists and engineers to produce accurate flood plain modeling and precise runoff calculations, identify mine portals, delineate wetlands, calculate slopes of valleys and stream beds, among other uses, the DEP said.
Reach Ken Ward Jr. at kw...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1702.