WEST VIRGINIA, W.
— “It’s like you’re watching a movie, you know,” said Michael Lefkowitz, a longtime West Virginia farmer who sells his yellow and red corn and wheat to grocery stores and wholesalers.
“There are so many things we have to do, but we’re all going to be OK.”
As the weather gets cooler, farmers are finding it harder to sell their crops because of high water use and dwindling supplies.
The state has cut its water allotments from the past two summers, and it is expected to take several months to restore water use.
This week, West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin ordered a mandatory statewide water cut of 5 percent in the state’s water system.
That would reduce the amount of water in the aquifer that feeds the state from about 8.8 billion gallons to about 5.9 billion gallons.
Tomblin said the cut would also reduce demand on the state�s aging water system, which relies on groundwater to keep the lights on and pumps running.
There is a lot of water on the ground, but the water is not being treated, said David O. Johnson, director of the State Water Resources Control Board, which oversees the state water system and oversees the water cut.
Water is being diverted to fill storage tanks at the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and other water storage sites.
So far, there have been no plans for more water storage, and there have also been no reports of the amount diverted being recharged to the state, O�Neil said.
We can’t get our hands on the water we�re not using, so the only option is to get it off the ground,” Johnson said.
Tombly said that the state would not use any more water than it had before the cut, and that the cuts would be gradual.
He said that in the meantime, the state could use groundwater storage to help keep water levels at their lowest levels.
But O�Neill said that would not necessarily be enough.
In addition to cutting water use, he said, the cuts are likely to increase the number of water mains, which are used to carry water from the aquifers to storage sites where it can be stored.
Those mains would have to be shut down.
And that will mean higher costs for West Virginia residents who use water mails.
Johnson said that West Virginia�s water bill would increase by $50 a month if it didn�t reduce its water use in the next few months.
While the state may have to use groundwater to pay for the water cuts, it would be difficult for farmers to sell corn and other crops.
John S. Soto, an agricultural economist at the University of Kentucky, said that if the cuts were implemented in the current environment, the prices of corn and rice would probably increase.
Instead, farmers may have the option of buying water from a water storage company, which might be cheaper.
Soto said that while there would be a short-term increase in prices, farmers would not have to worry about their prices because the state will be able to sell water to the storage company for a discount.
West Virginia is not the only state that is looking to cut water use by using groundwater storage.
As of last week, the Colorado River had increased by about 1.2 billion gallons, and in Colorado Springs, the city is working to use more groundwater to help control its water supply.
Meanwhile, the federal government is spending billions to install underground storage facilities to keep water from being released into the Colorado, Lake Mead and Rio Grande rivers.
On Thursday, President Barack Obama announced that the federal Government�s Emergency Assistance Program would get $4.7 billion to buy more water and to help states reduce their water use over the next three years.
(The Government�ve already allocated $2.7 million to help California and New York.)
West Virginians are also working to find a way to keep their water in their homes.
They have installed water meters at the home of some farmers and at other locations.
At one house, the water meter is placed at the top of the house, with the meter showing how much water is being used in the area.
Then, the homeowner goes to a local water company to have the water bill paid.
Residents who don�t have a water bill can buy a water meter from a utility and put it in their garage.
A recent survey of more than 600 people found that 73 percent of people had at least one water meter.
However, the survey also found that about one in five households had only one meter.