WVCA Director Brian Farkas Urges Flood Committee to Properly Fund Stream Warning Gauges
Members of a special legislative committee that examines flooding in West Virginia were warned Monday that the state needs to come up with a more comprehensive way to fund stream gauges that provide data needed to help warn residents when high water is approaching their communities.
Brian Farkas, executive director of the West Virginia Conservation Agency, told the Joint Legislative Committee on Flooding that a group of state and federal agencies scrambles annually to cobble together the money for a network of stream gauges across the state. The state should provide a “stable stream of funding to one state agency,” to protect the program, Farkas said.
“Funding gauges in the state of West Virginia has been haphazard for at least the last four years,” Farkas said during the committee’s monthly meeting. “They are very important pieces of public safety infrastructure, yet they are not funded. Every year, we have to look for money.”
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The Stream Partner Program is a cooperative effort of the West Virginia Conservation Agency, West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Forestry, and the Division of Natural Resources. The program is housed within the DEP's Division of Water and Waste Management.