This study estimates the quantity of surface water and ground water used within West Virginia. About 4,787 million gallons per day (Mgal/d) of water were withdrawn from West Virginia surface-water and ground-water sources in 2004, with about 4,641 Mgal/d (97 percent) from surface-water sources and about 146 Mgal/d (3 percent) from ground water sources. The largest surface-water withdrawals were in Grant and Mason Counties and were about 1,156 and 1,090 Mgal/d, respectively. The largest ground-water withdrawals were in Berkeley and Wood Counties and were about 12.0 and 12.8 Mgal/d, respectively.
Estimates were determined for surface-water and ground-water withdrawals in seven water-use categories: public supply, domestic, thermoelectric power, industrial, irrigation, commercial, and mining. Instream water uses, including hydroelectric power generation, were not considered. Total withdrawals for public supply were 189 Mgal/d, of which 152 Mgal/d were from surface-water sources and 37 Mgal/d were from ground-water sources. Kanawha County withdrew 34 Mgal/d of surface water for public supply, which is more than any other county in the state. Wood County withdrew more ground water for public supply than any other county in the state, about 7.59 Mgal/d. The total domestic (non-publicly supplied) water withdrawal was estimated at 33.5 Mgal/d, with 98 percent from ground water and 2 percent from surface water. There were 17 fossil-fuel, steam-generating thermoelectric power plants operated in the state, 10 plants with once-through cooling systems and 7 plants with recirculation cooling systems. Thermoelectric power used the greatest amount of water compared to the other water-use categories, and water withdrawal from surface-water sources was about 3,406 Mgal/d for plants with once-through cooling systems and about 145 Mgal/d for plants with recirculation cooling systems. Only a trace of water was withdrawn from ground-water sources for plants with once-through cooling systems and about 0.20 Mgal/d for plants with recirculation cooling systems. Water withdrawal by industries was about 911 Mgal/d from surface-water sources and about 54 Mgal/d from ground-water sources. West Virginia had the lowest estimated irrigation of any state or territory of the United States, with only about 0.036 Mgal/d withdrawn from surface-water sources and 0.036 Mgal/d withdrawn from ground-water sources. Water withdrawal for commercial use was about 16.7 Mgal/d from surface-water sources and about 16.0 Mgal/d from ground-water sources. Water withdrawal for mining was about 9.78 Mgal/d from surface-water sources and about 4.89 Mgal/d from ground-water sources.
The proportions of surface-water and ground-water withdrawals were similar in 1995 and 2004 (at about 3 percent ground water). Public-supply withdrawal for 2004 was about the same as for 2000 and 7 percent greater than the 1995 estimate. Domestic withdrawal for 2004 was about 18 percent less than the 1995 estimate. Withdrawal for thermoelectric power for 2004 was about 10 percent less than the 2000 estimate and about 18 percent greater than the 1995 estimate. Industrial withdrawal for 2004 was about 27 percent less than the estimate for 1995 and about the same as the estimate for 2000. Irrigation withdrawal for 2004 was about double that estimated for 2000. Commercial withdrawal for 2004 was down 28 percent from 1995. Mining withdrawals for 2004 were about 31 and 32 percent greater for surface and ground water, respectively, than estimates for 1995.