(11/19/2011)
West Virginia lawmakers have been advised to increase the state's scrutiny of water consumption by such large-scale users such as power plants and industry.

The legislature has dragged in developing regulations for the use of the state's water resources.

Former Gov. Joe Manchin had appointed the CEO of WV Water to head the project.

Scarce water resources have increasingly spurred legal fights among states, particularly in times of drought.

West Virginia requires users to report withdrawals when they exceed 25,000 gallons per day.

Legislators learned this week that all five of West Virginia's neighbors have set their daily reporting thresholds at either 5,000 or 10,000 gallons.

Auditors say a threshold on par with surrounding states will give West Virginia regulators a better sense of how state water resources are being tapped.

The Mountain State's last great natural resource is water, with the ability to store huge amounts in its narrow valleys.


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