By MATT COMBS
BECKLEY, W.Va. — When bean counters tabulate the profitable natural resources of West Virginia, calculations are made about the coal that is hauled out of the rugged and rural mountain landscape or the natural gas being captured from thousands of wells in increasing volumes. There remains a vast supply of timber, too.
But for Nicolas Zegre, an associate professor of forest hydrology at West Virginia University and the director of the university’s Mountain Hydrology Laboratory, the most important and largely overlooked commodity in the state is water.
Zegre is studying the state’s water security, how climate change could impact the state’s supply and how the state can position itself to benefit from what he believes is its most valuable resource.
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