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Water issues concern county officials

December 19, 2005|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Jefferson County Commission President Rusty Morgan says he would like to see the county consider protecting sensitive parts of its groundwater system.

Degradation of well water supplies is already occurring in the county, and perhaps protections can be put in place where groundwater supplies are easily accessed from the surface, Morgan said after Thursday's Jefferson County Commission meeting.

A county water official in Berkeley County said recently that availability of well water in that county will become one of the most important issues in the county in coming years.

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There have been periodic problems with water wells going dry in the county recently, although the problem is not as serious as during a drought in 2001, said Bill Stubblefield, chairman of the board of directors for the Berkeley County Water District.

In addition to individual residential water wells in Berkeley County, there are public water systems that draw water from wells, Stubblefield said.

Stubblefield said that Berkeley County officials are considering dividing the county into different areas based on groundwater availability.

Home building might then be restricted based on how much water is available in the areas, Stubblefield said.

Morgan said Thursday he is not sure Jefferson County can handle more of the higher-density development it has been experiencing, but added that restricting the rate of growth is difficult, too.

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