WV DEP Reminds Big Water Users of Reporting Obligation

As of Jan. 1, 2015, the new reporting threshold is 300,000 gallons withdrawn from surface or groundwater sources in a 30-day period. The data collected is required to be reported to the department starting Jan. 1, 2016.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is remind state residents about new requirements for reporting large water withdrawals from surface or groundwater sources. The state's Water Resources Protection and Management Act was amended in 2014 to include a lower reporting threshold, which means more water users have to report their withdrawals, and the amended law contains a new requirement that monthly data be collected.

As of Jan. 1, 2015, the new reporting threshold is 300,000 gallons withdrawn from surface or groundwater sources in a 30-day period. The data collected is required to be reported to the department starting Jan. 1, 2016; DEP says this lower threshold brings West Virginia in line with the water withdrawal reporting requirements of most surrounding states.

Anyone withdrawing at that 300,000-gallon threshold or higher must begin collecting water use data for each month so the data can be included in an annual survey submitted to DEP's Water Use Section of the Division of Water and Waste Management. These annual surveys must include the person's actual monthly water use.

In addition, the Large Quantity User (LQU) classification going forward includes not only any water users who withdraw 300,000 gallons or more in a 30-day period, but also any entity that bottles water for resale, no matter how much water that entity withdraws. Excluded from this classification is water designated for farm use, including watering livestock or poultry on a farm, though farms are encouraged to voluntarily report water withdrawals to assist with the accuracy of the survey. "Because the agency cannot identify and contact every potential new LQU, the responsibility to report at the new 300,000-gallon threshold ultimately rests with each water withdrawing entity. If your company or facility could be a potential LQU, you must register your water usage under state law. The 2015 monthly data must be reported between Jan. 1, 2016, and March 31, 2016. This is an annual requirement," according to DEP's announcement.

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