§22-26-2. Definitions.

For purposes of this article:

(1) "Baseline average" means the average amount of water withdrawn by a large-quantity user over a representative historical time period as defined by the secretary.

(2) "Beneficial use" means uses that include, but are not limited to, public or private water supplies, agriculture, tourism, commercial, industrial, coal, oil and gas and other mineral extraction, preservation of fish and wildlife habitat, maintenance of waste assimilation, recreation, navigation and preservation of cultural values.

(3) "Commercial well" means a well that serves small businesses and facilities in which water is the prime ingredient of the service rendered, including water wells drilled to support horizontal well operations.

(4) "Community water system" means a public water system that pipes water for human consumption to at least fifteen service connections used by year-round residents or one that regularly serves at least twenty-five residents.

(5) "Consumptive withdrawal" means any withdrawal of water which returns less water to the water body than is withdrawn.

(6) "Department" means the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.

(7) "Farm use" means irrigation of any land used for general farming, forage, aquaculture, pasture, orchards, nurseries, the provision of water supply for farm animals, poultry farming or any other activity conducted in the course of a farming operation.

(8) "Industrial well" means a well used exclusively for nonpotable purposes, including industrial processing, fire protection, washing, packing or manufacturing of a product excluding food and beverages, or other nonpotable uses.

(9) "Interbasin transfer" means the permanent removal of water from the watershed from which it is withdrawn.

(10) "Large-quantity user" means any person who withdraws over three hundred thousand gallons of water in any thirty-day period from the state's waters and any person who bottles water for resale regardless of quantity withdrawn. "Large-quantity user" excludes farm use, including watering livestock or poultry on a farm, though farms may voluntarily report water withdrawals to assist with the accuracy of the survey.

(11) "Maximum potential" means the maximum designed capacity of a facility to withdraw water under its physical and operational design.

(12) "Noncommunity nontransient water system" means a public water system that serves at least twenty-five of the same persons over six months per year.

(13) "Nonconsumptive withdrawal" means any withdrawal of water which is not a consumptive withdrawal as defined in this section.

(14) "Person", "persons" or "people" means an individual, public and private business or industry, public or private water service and governmental entity.

(15) "Secretary" means the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection or his or her designee.

(16) "Transient water system" means a public water system that serves at least twenty-five transient people at least sixty days a year.

(17) "Test well" means a well that is used to obtain information on groundwater quantity, quality, aquifer characteristics and availability of production water supply for manufacturing, commercial and industrial facilities.

(18) "Water resources", "water" or "waters" means any and all water on or beneath the surface of the ground, whether percolating, standing, diffused or flowing, wholly or partially within this state, or bordering this state and within its jurisdiction and includes, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, natural or artificial lakes, rivers, streams, creeks, branches, brooks, ponds, impounding reservoirs, springs, wells, watercourses and wetlands: Provided, That farm ponds, industrial settling basins and ponds and waste treatment facilities are excluded from the waters of the state.

(19) "Watershed" means a hydrologic unit utilized by the United States Department of Interior's Geological Survey, adopted in 1974, as a framework for detailed water and related land-resources planning.

(20) "Withdrawal" means the removal or capture of water from water resources of the state regardless of whether it is consumptive or nonconsumptive: Provided, That water encountered during coal, oil, gas, water well drilling and initial testing of water wells, or other mineral extraction and diverted, but not used for any purpose and not a factor in low-flow conditions for any surface water or groundwater, is not deemed a withdrawal.