While some public concern has grown over the
sale of West Virginia's largest water utility
to a German conglomerate, analysts say
the state lacks laws to control its water
resources, according to an in-depth article yesterday in The Charleston Gazette.|
State Attorney General Darrell McGraw has said it is giving away the store.
West Virginia, so it seems, has no water-use statute.
Factories, farms or out-of-state water
companies aren't required to publicly
report how much water they draw from the state.
The article says no state agency keeps track of who
takes water from West Virginia's rivers,
streams and lakes, or polices how they
use the water, even when it goes to other states.
American Water Works, the parent
company of West Virginia-American
Water Company, announced last year it
would be sold to Thames Water of
England, a German-held company.
The sale was approved by the state
Public Service Commission in October, but Attorney General Darrell McGraw has continued to opposed the
sale, although the decision appears to be final.
state is forfeiting control
over its water to a foreign company, and some water analysts say the decision is one that will affect water
distribution and sale for years to come.
To sell off the state's water, Thames would
need specific project approval, but it seems international trade agreements approved by the U. S. government
will take precedent in the sale.
Companies that don't supply water to
West Virginians can tap water supplies
with no government agency approval, is also an issue.
See "WEST VIRGINIA, AT THE BOTTOM, IS GIVING IT AWAY AGAIN" on 12/22/02 with a link to an in-depth
Charleston Gazette story