(4) Flood plain vegetation and natural landforms shall
be protected where appropriate to prevent or reduce
flood damage. s.373.016(2) (d) (e) and (f) .
(a) Dredging, filling, or other alteration of
floodplain vegetation and natural landforms
shall not be undertaken unless it can be shown
that the potential for flood damage is not
(b) Floodplain and natural landform restoration
shall be undertaken in areas where previous
alteration has increased the potential for
flood damage and where restoration is:
(i) cost-effective; or
(ii) necessary to protect public health or
(5) The Department and Districts shall implement a
program to insure the structural safety of dams and
17-X.08 Wetlands Protection and Floodplain Management
(1) The water uses of wetlands and floodplains are
(a) Water resources shall be reserved in quantities
and quality sufficient to protect wetlands ad
(b) Water resources shall be reserved in quantities
and quality sufficient to meet the freshwater
needs of estuaries.
(c) Minimum flows and levels shall be established
to protect wetlands r-"t d _fm lu i -1
(2) The natural capacity of wetlands and floodplains to
provide for reasonable-beneficial uses shall be
protected and utilized, including:
(a) Providing for recreation in and on the water;
(b) Providing for fish and wildlife habitats and
the passage of anadromous fish species;
DE 1 10/28/80
(c) Maintenance of estuarine resources including
the transfer of detrital material;
(d) Maintenance of freshwater storage and supply;
(e) Providing aesthetic and scenic attributes;
(f) Filtration and absorption of nutrients and
(g) Reduction of sediment loads; and,
(h) Water quality protection of potable water
(3) Wetlands and floodplains shall not be drained,
discharged into, dredged, filled, or otherwise
altered unless the beneficial values listed in 17-
X.08(2) are fully considered and:
(a) preserved or enhanced;
(b) provided in another manner; or
(c) determined to be of a lesser social, economic,
and environmental value than the purpose of the
(4) Water and related land management programs shall be
undertaken by the Department or Districts which
protect or compensate for the previous alteration of
the natural hydroperiod of wetlands and floodplains.
(5) The Department and Districts shall sek 9 acquire / /
wetlands or floodplains where ,.-ai i .-l Lh..j,,
(6) Freshwate springs shall be identified and protected
as integral arts of wetlands and floodplains and as
unique hy rol ical sites.
17-X.09 Water Resource Projects
(1) Structural and non-structural project alternatives
shall be given equal consideration in water resource
(2) The amount of Federal matching funds available shall
not be a factor in the selection between project
D E '- 10/28/80
(3) Water resource projects of particular benefit to
limited segments of the population should be financed
by those most directly benefited.
(1) Exceptions to this policy may be granted by the
state as provided in Chapters 253, 373, and 403,
(2) In addition, subject to the provisions of Chapter
120, Florida Statutes, exceptions to this policy may
be granted by the Department or District where:
(a) Particular natural or man-induced circumstances
prevent compliance with certain requirements;
(b) A course of action inconsistent with stated
policy better serves the public interest.
(3) The Department or District shall specify the require-
ments which must be met in lieu of the requirements
for which exception is sought.
(1) Corrective action shall be taken where conditions of
development, or other alterations of water or land,
prevent or threaten to prevent the attainment of
reasonable-beneficial uses of water or otherwise
conflict with the public interest, s.373.016(2) (a).
(a) The State Water Plan, which shall include the
regional water use plans submitted to the
department by each water management district,
shall be consistent with requirements of
s.373.036, Florida Statutes, and the state
water policy, s.373.016(3).
(b) The State Water Plan shall identify specific
geographical areas where water shortages,
flooding, over-drainage, water quality degrada-
tion or other environmental problems have
reached, or will reach, critical levels.
D1 T 10/28/80
(i) A course of remedial action which is
consistent with the provisions of this
policy shall be specified for each
(ii) Measures may include federal public works
programs; state water resources restoration
projects; purchase of lands by the state;
enforcement of state laws and rules; and
local government activities conducted
pursuant to a local government comprehensive
plan, local ordinance, or zoning regulation.
(2) Administration of state water laws and policies
shall be responsive to the needs of the public.
(a) Water laws shall be uniformly administered to
the greatest extent practicable, but standards
and regulations shall take into account differ-
ing regional water resource characteristics,
and needs, s.373.016(3).
(b) The state water policy shall be reviewed period-
ically, but in no case less frequently than
once every four years. Revisions, if any,
shall be adopted by rule. s.373.016(3).
(c) Each water management district may adopt re-
gional water policies based upon the policies
set forth in this rule. In the event that the
state water policy is revised pursuant to (b),
each district policy shall be revised accord-
(d) Department and water management district rules
shall be consistent with the state water policy.
(e) The Department and Districts shall review all
Local Government Comprehensive Plans and inform
local government of potential conflicts with
state water policy.
DR 2 10/28/80
(3) Water quality, quantity, and land management shall
be integrated to the greatest extent practicable.
(a) Water Quantity shall be a major consideration
in all water quality management decisions, and
(b) The requirements of Adopted Legal Government
Comprehensive Plans shall be a major considera-
tion in all water quantity and quality manage-
(c) The Department and Districts shall assist local
government in the development of plans, ordinances,
or other programs, which are consistent with
the requirements of state water policy.
(d) Duplication of water quality and quantity
permitting functions shall be eliminated where
appropriate through the use of joint permitting
forms, collocation of offices and delegation or
consolidation of agency responsibilities.
(4) The Department and Districts shall assist state
universities in the development of educational
curricula and research programs which meet Florida's
present and future water management needs.
(5) Interstate agreements and cooperative programs with
Alabama and Georgia shall be undertaken to provide
for coordinated management of interstate waters.
W RULES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION
& D uCHAPTER 17-X
PART I DECLARATION AND INTENT
17-X.01 Declaration and Intent
(1) Article II, Section 7 of he Florida Constitution
requires abatement of wa er pollution, and conser-
vation and protection of Florida's natural resources
and scenic beauty.
(2) Section 373.016(1) (2), Florida Statutes, declares
that the waters in the state are among its basic
resources, and that sich waters have not heretofore
been conserved or fu ly controlled as to realize
their full beneficial use. In addition, this section
,, declares it to be he policy of the Legislature:
S(a) to provide f r the management of water and
related land' resources;
(b) to promote the conservation, development, and
Proper utilization of surface and ground water;
(c) to develop and regulate dams, impoundments,
reservoirs and other works and to provide water
storage for beneficial purposes;
(d) to prevent damage from flood, soil erosion, and
(e) to preserve natural resources, fish and wildlife;
(f) to promote recreational development, protect
public lands, and assist in maintaining the
navigability of rivers and harbors; and
(g) otherwise, to promote the health, safety and
general welfare of the people of this state.
(3) Furthermore, the Florida Legislature in Section
373.016(3), Florida Statutes, vested in the Depart-
ment of Environmental Regulation the power and
responsibility to accomplish the conservation,
protection, management and control of the waters of
the s ate and with sufficient flexibility and dis-
cretioyp to accomplish these ends through delegation
of appropriate powers to the various water management
district s. The Legislature further provided that
the Depa tment may exercise any power granted to a
water ma agement district but "to the greatest
extent pr cticable, such power should be delegated
to the gov rning board of a water management dis-
(4) Section 403 021, Florida Statutes, declares that the
public policy of the state is to conserve the waters
of the state and to protect, maintain and improve
the quality th reof for public water supplies, for
the propagatio\ of wildlife, fish and other aquatic
life, and for domestic, agricultural, industrial,
recreational, and other beneficial uses. It also
prohibits the discharge of wastes into Florida
waters without treatment necessary to protect those
beneficial uses of the waters.
(5) Chapter 253, Florida Statutes, gives control of
submerged lands and associated water resources to
the State by right of sovereignty in navigable
freshwater lakes, rivers\ and streams, and sets forth
management statements for\such areas; requires
biological surveys, ecological studies, and hydro-
logic surveys to be completed for sovereignty areas
before a permit may be issues for the removal or
placement of sand, rock, eartl or other solid mate-
rials within sovereignty areas\ to determine if such
actions will interfere with the\ conservation of
aquatic or terrestrial wildlife resources and habi-
tat, and if such actions will obstruct or alter the
natural flow of navigable water to an extent con-
trary to the public interest.
(6) The Departm nt finds tha the aforementioned dec-
larations of policy direction from the Florida
Constitution, t e F /rida Water Resources Act of
1972, the Land Ac isition Trust Fund, and the
Florida Air and at r Pollution Control Act provide
a sound base or the management of Florida's water
(7) ,, he Department also recognizes that the
Complexity of water management, with the increasing
competition for use of the state's finite water
resources, has led to the necessity for a more
refined, categorical set of management guidelines.
In response to this substantial need, the Department
has developed the water policy directives as set
forth in this Chapter to insure the conservation,
protection, management and reasonable-beneficial use
of the waters, f the state.
(8) The water policy directives set forth in this Chapter
are intended to provide general policy guidance to
the Department and water management districts in the
development of more detailed and regional specific
policy, ruagu ntin, and plans. The Department
recognizes that, due to particular circumstances,
\ exceptions to general policy may be required. Such
--^ exception may be granted by the Department or water
management district subject to the provisions of
SFlorida Administrative Law.
PART II DEFINITIONS
17-X.02 Transferability of Definitions
(1) Definitions contained in Chapters 23, 373, and 403,
Florida Statutes, and those definitions contained in
other chapters of the Department's rules may be
utilized to clarify the meaning of terms used herein
z unless such terms are defined in this section, or
^ unless the transfer of such definition would defeat
the purpose or alter the intended effect of the
provisions of this Chapter 35 ^ 65
Dr T 10/28/80
(2) When appearing in this chapter, the following words
shall, unless the context clearly indicates other-
(a) "Department" means the Department of Environ-
(b) "District" means a water management district
created pursuant to Chapter 373, Florida Statutes.
(c) "Basin" means a basin established/by a- ___a
and administered by a basin governing board.
(d) "Flood Hazard Area" means
(e) "Wetland" means
(f) "Floodplain" means
(g) "Water Resource Project" means
(h) "Safe Yield" means
(i) "Present and Future Most Beneficial Use" means
PART III POLICIES /71
17-X.03 Water Use
( S An adequate and affordable supply of water hall/be
sought for all reasonable-beneficial uses. s.373.016
(2) (b) and (g).
f/ ) All waters of the state shall be managed to
maximize reasonable-beneficial uses. s.373.016
(2) (a) (b)(f).
/5 The use of water to suppo natural systems,
including such uses which ob urally is a
reasonable-beneficial use. s.373.016(2) (b)
(c No/person may take water for other than a
easonable-beneficial use. s.373.016(1) (2) (b)
(d) Waters sJl1 be managed to achieve multiple
reasonable-beneficial uses where appropriate.
s.373.016 (2) (b) (c) (e).
(e) A water use which causes a violation of water
o, quality standards is not a reasonable-beneficial
;i (f) A water use which causes an increase in flooding
or potential flood damage is not a reasonable-
S / (2) A reasonable-beneficial use shall be preserved
unless a competing reasonable-beneficial use better
serves the public interest, s.373.223(1) and (2).
S(3) An existing legal use shall be preserved during the
term of a permit. s.373.223(1) (6).
S(4) The determination of the reasonable-beneficial use
\ of water shall be based upon consideration of:
\ (a) The demonstrated need for the use.
\ \ (b) The suitability of the use to the source of
(c) The social, economic and environmental value of
(d) The extent and amount of social, economic or
environmental harm caused.
(e) The practicality of avoiding the harm by adjust-
ing the use or method of use.
(f) The efficiency of use.
(g) The practicality of adjusting the quantity to
D D'T 10/28/80
(h) The practicality of reuse, or the use of waters
of more suitable quality.
(i) The projected demand for r
S(j) The amount of land owned or legally controlled
by the user.
(k) The extent and amount of water quality degrada-
l tion caused.
(1) Other factors which the state may deem appro-
17-X.04 Water Supply Development
(1) [Intracoun intrabasin, and intradistrict water
supplies should be developed to the maximum extent/
practicable prior to consideration of (ntercounty,
interbasin or interdistrict transfers.
(2) The transfer of water supplies across water manage-
ment district, basin, or county boundaries which the
state determines to have regional significance may
be undertaken if the transfer is a reasonable-
beneficial use, does not interfere with existing
legal uses, and is in the public interest.
(3) In deciding if the proposed transfer is in the
public interest, the Department or District shall
(a) A comprehensive water conservation and reuse
program is implemented and enforced in the area
(b) The major costs and benefits are adequately
determined for both the supplying and the
(c) The transfer is the most economical method to
supply water for the given purpose.
(d) The projected water needs of the supplying and
the receiving areas are reasonably determined
and can be met if the transfer takes place.
(e) The transfer plan incorporates a regional
approach to water supply and distribution
including, where appropriate, plans for eventual
SD ^ T 10/28/80
interconnection of water supply sources.
(f) The supplying area is not deprived of the prior
right to the reasonable beneficial use of the
17-X.05 Water Conservation
(1) Conservation of water shall be a requirement of
reasonable-beneficial use,, s. 373. 016 (2) (a) and (b) .
(a) Water resource be managed such that the
"safe yield" 1 u LL' ------ F 1 r_ is not
exceeded. s.373.016(2) (a) (b) and (g).
(b) Water use permits shall require conservation as
a condition of the permit.
(c) The use and reuse of nonpotable water supplies
of the lowest acceptable quality for each
intended use shall required where appropri-
ate. s.373.031 ) (2)(b)(g).
(2) A salt water barrier line shall be established and
enforced throughout coastal areas of the state.
s.373.016(2) (b) .
(3) Drainage or artificial recharge which adversely
impacts reasonable-beneficial uses of water shall be
prevented or eliminated, s.373.016(2)(d).
(4) The natural aquifer recharge characteristics of land
shall be protected to the greatest extent practicable.
s.373.016(2) (c) and (f).
(5) The natural water storage characteristics of land
shall be protected to the greatest extent practicable.
17-X.06 Water Quality
(1) Water quality standards shall protect the present
and future most beneficial uses of all waters of the
state, s.403.021(2) (6).
(a) Present and future most beneficial uses shall
be designated by the state for the purpose of
establishing water quality standards.
Di.. T 10/28/80
(b) Water quality standards shall be established
and enforced to preserve the uses designated by
(c) Potable water supplies, waters of exceptional
recreational or ecological significance, and
waters which contain commercially harvested
shellfish shall be identified and protected
(2) Waste treatment shall be required to the extent
necessary to achieve water quality standards or to
prevent degradation pursuant to 17-X.06(1)(c).
(a) Point sources of pollution shall be controlled
as specified in Chapters 17-3, 17-4, and 17-6,
Florida Administrative Code.
(b) Non-point sources of pollution, including
pollution from stormwater runoff, shall be
controlled as specified in s. 17-4.248, Florida
17-X.07 Flood Prevention and Control
(1) Flood hazard areas shall be managed to prevent loss
of life and property.
(a) Plans, projects and budget requests subject to
state approval shall reflect consideration of
flood hazard management.
(b) The Department and Districts shall designate,
or assist local government, in the designation
of flood hazard areas.
(c) The Department and Districts shall assist local
government in the development and implementa-
tion of floodplain ordinances.
(d) Flood hazard information shall be provided to
the general public and to lending institutions
(e) Construction in a designated flood hazard area
shall not be undertaken unless:
DI r 10/28/80
(i) the construction is designed to with-
stand the damaging effects of flooding;
(ii) the construction does not cause a
significant increase in flooding; and
(iii) the construction is consistent with the
achievement of reasonable-beneficial
uses of waters, s.373.016(2) (a) and (d).
(f) Facilities financed in whole or in part by a
state agency shall not be constructed in
designated flood hazard areas unless the
criteria listed in 17X.07(1)(e) are met and
their purpose expressly requires such location,
(2) Water resource programs shall be sought which pre-
vent or reduce flood damage.
(a) Structural and non-structural alternatives
shall be given equal consideration.
(b) Programs shall be sought for the mitigation of
damage caused by the construction and operation
of flood control projects.
(c) Funding shall be sought for the acquisition of
floodplains, wetlands, and other natural water
storage areas where consistent with the achieve-
ment of reasonable-beneficial uses of water.
(3) Stormwater runoff shall be controlled to prevent
increased flooding. S.373.016(2)(d);
(a) Retention, detention, or other control measures
which prevent an increase in off-site flooding
shall be required in areas of new development.
(b) Retention, detention, or other control measures
shall be required in areas of existing develop-
ment where such controls are necessary to
prevent or reduce flood damage and are:
(i) cost-effective; or
(ii) necessary to protect public health or